Evolution of the ‘dragon’ character

Evolution of the dragon character in Chinese, from Shang dynasty oracle bone script (about 3,500 years ago) through to the simplified character of the 1950s.

Shang dynasty (1600 – 1046 BC) oracle bone script
Western Zhou dynasty (1046 – 771 BC), bronze script
Qin/Han dynasty (221 BC – AD 220), bronze script
Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25 – 220), clerical script
Three Kingdoms era (220 – 280), regular script
Tang dynasty (618 – 907), cursive script
1950s Mainland China, simplified script
Fancy-looking traditional dragon character, this script is actually ‘thin gold script’ (瘦金書 shòu jīn shū), a form of regular script created by the Emperor Huizong of Song about 1000 years ago.

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