This Western Han Dynasty Jade Horse set may be related to the memory of National Hero Huo Qubing.Throughout China’s long history, the horse has played a significant role in the expansion and consolidation of the empire, as well as a means by which to maintain contact and control across such a vast and diverse terrain. The Han dynasty was repeatedly threatened with attempts by the Xiongnu, the
multi-ethnic nomadic group inhabiting the Eurasian Steppe, to raid the northern and eastern boundaries of China’s territories. This led to a search for horses that were superior to China’s own domestic breeds, and better suited to the challenging topographies of the regions.
1986年鳳翔縣秦公一號墓之所出，為春秋時期，長5.3公分，玉色灰黑，刀工簡練，頸下作小孔(玉雕马头：长5.3厘米，高5.3厘米，厚1.3厘米。墨玉质，马头长方，棱角分明，口微张，双耳残断，双目为单阴线雕刻，颈部后端呈榫头状，其上钻有小孔，以便嵌入固定，风格写实。陕西历史博物馆藏(The existence of jade horse heads and necks (without bodies) is confirmed by an earlier example excavated in 1986 from the circa 537 BC Spring and Autumn Period tomb of Duke Qin, Fenxiang, Shaanxi Province, today housed in the Shaanxi History Museum, Xi’an. Measuring just 5.3 cm in length and minimally carved from a polished black jade, it is drilled through a tab running along the lower neck with apertures for attachment)