Shang Yang Rectangular Sheng


Measure, Mid-Warring States Period
Total length: 18.3cm
Weight: 690g

Sheng( literally, liter) is a kind of measuring tool in ancient times. This piece has a rectangular and open body with vertical walls as well as a rectangular and hollow handle. An inscription of 32 characters on the outer wall denotes that Shang Yang, once a high official and innovator but soon bloodily executed, supervised the making of this Sheng in the eighteenth year of the Xiao Gong Period of the Qin (344 B.C.). During the Warring States Period, under the great pressure of being annexed by other states, most states made political and economic reforms to enhance their strength. The reforms led by Shang Yang in the Qin State were the most successful. The Qin State became stronger and stronger and finally unified the whole China in 221 B.C. Shang Yang Rectangular Sheng witnessed the standardization movement and complex conflicts of the time.