Chinese Hongshan dragon may actually be a Viking dragon
1. The Hongshan dragon
China claims that its culture had invented the dragon symbols. Other Asian disputed that. The Wikipedia article Hongshan culture is often cited as a proof of an ancient dragon jade object has been found at the a site in Hongshan District, Chifeng (site was dated 4700BC-2900BC) currently belonging to China.
Hongshan culture, in wikipedia:
A study by Yinqiu Cui et al. from 2013 found that 63% of the
combined samples from various Hongshan archeological sites belonged to
the subclade N1 (xN1a, N1c) of the paternal haplogroup N-M231
and calculated N to have been the predominant haplogroup in the region
in the Neolithic period at 89%, its share gradually declining over time. Today this haplogroup is most common in Finland, the Baltic states and among northern Siberian ethnicities, such as the Yakuts.
Housed inside the Goddess Temple are clay figurines as large as three times the size of real-life humans. The exceedingly large figurines are possibly deities, but for a religion not reflective in any other Chinese culture.
Three individuals from the Miaozigou site belonged to haplogroup N1(xN1a, N1c), while the main lineage of Yellow River valley cultures is O3-M122. The existence of N1(xN1a, N1c) among the Miaozigou individuals could serve as evidence for the migration of some of the Hongshan people.
However, the DNA tracing from the site points to a Viking origin !
There are also some strange things regarding the Goddess Temple
… Goddess Temple, due to the discovery of a clay female head with jade inlaid eyes.
Pig dragons and large, nude, clay figurines were also found at Niuheliang. Some of the figurines are up to three times the size of real-life humans; …
…there are in fact two varieties of animals represented in the jades. One is a boar …; the other is a bear, represented by round eyes and short perky ears
The bear has been widely worshipped in Northeast Asia, such as by the
Ainu in northern Japan, and in Siberia. Thus, Guo Dashun sees this site
in the wider Northeast Asian context.
2. The Viking dragon
Photo credit: First published on Flickr. Original image by Jamie McCaffrey. Uploaded by Mark Cartwright, published on 27 April 2017 (https://www.worldhistory.org/image/6557/viking-boat-figurehead/).
Another interesting site is Does the story of beowolf explain the oseberg gjellestad and sutton hoo ships.
People took care to honor and placate the landvaettir. In the first law
of Iceland, Vikings were told to remove the dragon heads from their
ships when approaching land so they wouldn’t frighten the land spirits.
This should be contrasted with Chinese assignment of levitation power to their dragons. As Chinese myths are further from reality, there are reasons to suspect that Chinese adopted Viking dragons and added more myths on them.
The Viking dragons are large mythical sea serpents.
Figure: The Altuna Runestone (Altunastenen), a Viking Age memorial runestone with images from Norse mythology, created in 11th century, Sweden.
(Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, author Gunnar Creutz)
Viking people are sea faring people. It is quite possible that they may have mistaken the dangerous meteorological water-spouts for their mythical dragon creatures. Thunders and waterspouts are positively correlated and in Viking mythology the God of Thunder slains the dragon.
Figure: Three waterspouts near The Hague, Neatherland. (Figure transferred to public domain by its author, Skatebiker at English Wikipedia).
The Chinese also associate their dragons with clouds.
3. The link to Viking culture and DNA’s.
Much is to be found about Viking explorations and the spread of Viking culture and DNA’s (Viking-history-facts-myths) . Archaelogical finding in Ribe showed that the Viking Age in Europe may have started as early as 725 AD
Traveling to Chifeng on land along the arctic zone would not present much difficulty to the Vikings.
4. The late association of dragons to power in Chinese history and literature
There was a Chinese Silk painting depicting a man riding a dragon (dated 475-221BC) with no exclusive reservation of the dragon symbol to royalty.
(This work is in the public domain).
The dragon boat on this ancient silk painting may only denote a funeral. Indeed, every of the many funerary coffin carrier vans in Saigon, South Vietnam, since at least 1950 to present do have two dragons, one on each side. The two dragons have the role of taking the soul of the deceased to heaven.
Figure: A coffin carrier van in HCM, Vietnam, 2021 (From https://en.dimatourmuine.vn/vietnamese-funerals-and-cemeteries/ ).
A study of description of the life of Chinese First Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Qinshihuang, (221BC-210BC) has not found any reference to dragons as symbols of power although there were a description of a mythical fish hindering his search for the Elixir of Life. (The picture https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Qinshihuang.jpg#mw-jump-to-license in the Wikipedia article is by some unknown artist of circa 1850, and is not a historical authorized drawing). Archaeological finds near his Mausoleum also have no article related to the mythical dragons while figures of horses, ducks, swans, cranes have been found. So the Chinese dragons only appeared after his time. My search on The Records of the Grand Historian, also known by its Chinese name Shiji (finished around 94BC), also yielded no dragon.
Even the Qin annals had not used any dragon in their description of his conception by his mother.
“For those who are curious, the Qin annals record that the Ying clan was founded by the son of a grand-daughter of the Emperor Zhuanxu. It seems that she gave birth to him after a dark bird dropped an egg to her
while she was weaving. She swallowed the egg, and the eventual result
was the reunification of China.
The story on Triệu Đà proclaiming to be Emperor of Nam-Viet only mentioned his use of four pheasant tails on his chariot as a sign of claiming to be an emperor. No dragon symbol were used at that time for the claim.
Dragons denoting power were only introduced during or before the Tang dynasty. Emperor Taizong of Tang (598-649AD) certainly has a dragon symbol on his gown. The story (written before the 16th century) of Tang Sanzang (or Tripikata with a Monkey God assistant) has a dragon transformed into Tripikata’s horse.
It is not evident that later users of Chinese dragon symbols descended ideologically from the ancient users (4700BC -2900BC) from Hongshan District.