China's bronze-casting traditions can be traced back to about 2000 BCE. Elaborate bronze vessels were made for ritual and ceremonial use, often to make offerings to ancestors. The materials and technology of this long-standing tradition were adapted to make the earliest East Asian coins. Cast-bronze alcohol vessel, Late Shang Dynasty, circa 1200-1050 BCE. From Henan Province, China. Bequeathed by Henry J. Oppenheim. (The British Museum, London).
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