In Chifeng, a city in the southeast of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the image of a C-shaped dragon is almost ubiquitous: by the exits of railway stations, on shop posters, and even as decorations on the desserts in bakeries.
That 5,000-year-old jade dragon, found in Chifeng in 1971, is probably one of the best-recognized prehistoric cultural relics among the Chinese general public. In the hearts of people in Chifeng, its status is sublime.
Excavated by a hill named Hongshan (meaning “the red mountain” after the color of its rocks) in Chifeng in the 1930s, a brilliant Neolithic culture renowned for its exquisite jades was uncovered. In 1954, it was formally named Hongshan Culture.
Since then, generations of Chinese…