During archaeological excavations, many cultural relics were found. However, because some antiquities are too precious and likely to break, being destroyed when exposed to the outside, so many museums in China have chosen to make a similar one (version). This is considered an alternative to protect rare and easily damaged cultural relics.
However, there is a cultural relic whose structure is so mysterious and complex that even the use of modern technology cannot imitate or fake it. This treasure is the drum stand (or drum stand), made nearly 2,500 years ago.
This is a treasure unearthed in the tomb of Zeng Hou Yi (477 BC – 433 BC), also known as Ji Yi, a monarch of the Tang state (vassal of the Zhou Dynasty during the Warring States period) in the city of Sui. Chau (in Hubei province) in 1978.
At that time, after months of excavation, archaeologists found more than 15,000 cultural relics, including 6,239 bronze objects. All are crafted from the Warring States period.
In addition, the set of bronze bells found in the tomb of King Tang Hau At is considered to be the largest, most complete and sophisticated set of bronze bells ever found in the world.
However, among the relics found in the tomb for more than 2,000 years, there is one treasure that makes experts extremely surprised, which is the drum base .
Drums were a popular musical instrument during the Warring States period. This instrument consists of three parts: base, stand and drum body. The drum base is the treasure found in the tomb of Tang Hau At.
The drum base in the tomb of Tang Hau At is 0.45 m high, has a bottom diameter of 0.8 m and weighs 192.1 kg. This treasure looks bulky and has great complexity in texture, considered to represent the pinnacle of the ancient art of smelting.
This is the base of the drum in the tomb of Tang Hau At. Its material is copper. However, this artifact has a strange shape. Specifically, the body of this drum base is composed of 8 pairs of large dragons and some small dragons. These dragons are interwoven, even adorned with precious turquoise.
At first, when looking at this structure, although chaotic, it gives the viewer a strange and vivid feeling. Obviously looking at people, there are dragons decorated around the base of the drum. However, because they are intertwined, no one knows how many dragons are on this treasure. Until now, experts are not able to know the exact answer.
According to the Hubei Provincial Museum, which currently displays the more than 2,000-year-old drum stand, one day a foreigner visited Zeng Hou Yi’s drum stand and lingered in front of the display cabinet all day. This man counted 108 dragons . Although this number is very high, the actual number of dragons that each person counts from different angles gives different answers. Therefore, 108 dragons is not the correct answer. So far, no one has confirmed the exact number of dragons on this rare treasure.
According to experts, this is also one of the points that makes it difficult to fake or restore. The Hubei Provincial Museum has invited many strong units to copy treasures, but even using the most modern technologies, the results are still unsuccessful.
How craftsmen more than 2,000 years ago were able to create these dragons so skillfully, is still a mystery to this day. After discussing and researching, metallurgical experts all said that the bronze casting process in the Tang Hau At period was an ancient wax casting method. This method is used to craft delicate objects that require both precision and a very high level of technique.
In fact, based on this method, the Hubei Provincial Museum has invited many domestic and foreign experts to simulate and copy the drum base more than 2,000 years old. However, after each copy and comparison with the original, all were unsatisfactory. Experts said that the copies do not show the magic of the original treasure, the sound emitted is not vivid.