|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (April 2013)|
A cong (Chinese: 琮; pinyin: cóng; Wade–Giles: ts'ung2) is a form of ancient Chinese jade artifact. The earliest cong were produced by the Liangzhu culture (3400-2250 BC); later examples date mainly from the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
In form, a cong is a tube with a circular inner section and squarish outer section. The outer surface is divided vertically or horizontally such that the whole defines a hollow cylinder embedded in a partial rectangular block. Proportions vary - a cong may be squat or taller than it is wide. The outer faces are sometimes decorated with masklike faces, which may be related to the taotie designs found on later bronze vessels.
Although generally considered to be a ritual object of some sort, the original function and meaning of the cong are unknown. Later writings speak of the cong as symbolizing the earth, while the bi represents the heavens. The square represents the earth and a circle represents the heavens.
See also 
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