he pattern on our final cover comes from China’s Liangzhu Culture in Yuhang District of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province — a Neolithic culture dates back to 5,000 years ago. In 1986, archaeologists unearthed a large jade artifact weighing 6.5 kilograms, known as cong (a cylinder jade container for sacrificial ceremony) at Fanshan Site in Yuhang. However, what astonished people was not the size or weight of this fine jade artifact, but the pattern on it — a man with lavish headwear and his arms bending downwards, below him there is a fierce looking animal, a beast, with wide- open eyes, fearsome teeth and sharp claws. Such pattern did not occur merely on the large jade alone, but on other artifacts like potteries. Given this fact, one could infer that this pattern must carried some significant meanings for those ancient residents of Liangzhu, and that is also the point on which debates focus — even after decades of research, archaeologists haven’t yet reached agreement on what does this pattern tell and what kind of the depicted animal is. One dominant hypothesis is that the man in the pattern was not an ordinary one, but a man of God — a shaman who is bestowed with imaginable magical power and hence he was able to make the beast — probably a tiger, the most fierce animal that has long been considered as “the king of all animals” in Chinese culture, yield. Thus, based on that the pattern should be named “man of God and animal-face pattern”. Shrouded in mysteries, the pattern has become the mark of Liangzhu Culture — one of the most distinctive cultures, even if not the earliest, of the Neolithic- era China. No matter which hypothesis is correct, the fine and vivid details of the pattern have indeed reflected the remarkable skills mastered by prehistoric people, and that was why we chose it. The other cover options are: No. 1 & 2: the sea charge sacrificial rite of Fuye Village, Fujian No. 3: farmlands of Sichuan at the day of Lixia No. 4: Kazakh herdsmen of Xinjiang harvesting wheat No. 5: ancient city of Kaifeng in the setting sun No. 6 & 7: crater lakes in Arxan-chaihe Region No. 8 & 9: the serpetine Tongtian River No. 10: the ancient town of Pingyao at the day of Lichun No. 11: ripe persimmons in late autumn.