Acupuncture Needle

Unknown CreatorEastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475– 221 BCE) or later

Hallwyl Museum

Hallwyl Museum
Stockholm, Sweden


Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring Sates period (475– 221 BCE) or later
Reportedly discovered in Shouzhou (centered in present-day Shou County, Anhui province)
Inventory number: XLIX:I:C.x.01.

The head of this needle is rounded with a small protrusion on the top. The head is waisted and has triangular depressions, which would have been inlaid, probably with turquoise. The needle itself is angled and comes to a point at the end.

This object has been catalogued as a hairpin. However, there are several similar objects in the collection of the Hallwyl Museum that are much shorter and would not have been practical to use as hairpins. This study would like to explore the possibility that these objects may be acupuncture needles. Gold and silver acupuncture have been discovered in the Han Dynasty tomb of Liu Sheng (died 113 BCE). These needles measure 6-7 centimeters and are also angular, similar to the object in question. The Lingshu Jing is an ancient Chinese medical text that was probably compiled in the 1st century BCE, based on earlier texts. Acupuncture is already discussed on this early work.


  • Title: Acupuncture Needle
  • Creator: Unknown Creator
  • Date Created: Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475– 221 BCE) or later
  • Location Created: China
  • Physical Dimensions: L: 14 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Chinese Bronze Age, Acupuncture
  • Rights: CC BY

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