Among Neolithic jades, the cong displays the most complex form: a cylindrical tube encased in a square prism that gently tapers from top to bottom. Simple masks with circular eyes and bar-shaped mouths decorate the corners. Enigmatic in function and meaning, the cong probably signified wealth and social status. In a tomb found at Sidun, Jiangsu Province, numerous cong lay in a circle around the dead, suggesting that they also served a religious or ritual purpose.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.