This jade ornament belongs to one of the major categories of Hongshan jade. Although we do not know the exact function of such a piece, its importance is obvious from two features: firstly, it is relatively much larger than other Hongshan jade pieces, and would require a substantial piece of material; secondly, it was placed direcly under the head of the person in the burial, and is only found in larger tombs, an indication of higher ranking. Because of its placement under the head, it has been suggested that the ornament could have been used to bind hair. The current example is in its original condition since excavation and has not been cut-down or re-fashioned. Several examples of varying sizes and proportion exist in museum collections or from excavation, such as the one in the British Museum, illustrated by Lawson and Michaelson in Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, The British Museum, London, 1995, no. 1:2, p. 115; two from the Winthrop Collection, illustrated by Loehr in Ancient Chinese Jades, Harvard University, Massachusetts, 1975, nos. 323 and 324, pp. 216-217; and an excavated example illustrated by Scott in Chinese Jades, Percival David Foundation, London, 1977, pl. 7, p. 33.