Four cultures-civilizations around the world have discovered jade and considered it a sacred substance, divine and useful. In Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica jade symbolized the state and the authority of the gods, and was a useful material more precious than gold. In the Middle Kingdom, or China, jade was the magical “Stone of Heaven,” celebrated from prehistory into modern times. Jade is found in Neolithic graves, and small disks of fine white jade were set in the gold medals of the recent Chinese Olympics. This course summarizes how jade fit into several cultures and civilizations around the world, with emphasis on historical and modern China.
Prerequisites: Completion of first year writing requirements. Co-requisites: None. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS elective.