Engraved Ornament probably made of from a tooth from Formosan Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura)

Accession No. T0177688
Period Iron Age
Material Tooth
Findspot Gui-shan Site
Geographic Location Sheliao Village, Checheng Township, Pingtung County
Dimension L. 4.8 cm


This artifact is a carved canine of a big cat, likely clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura), made into a shape of a wild boar. It is a delicate piece and is one of a kind discovery from the Gui-shan site. It demonstrates a developed tooth-working technology and a mature artistic style.Similar ornaments made of drilled teeth of big cats’ can be seen in the modern Paiwan tribe, reflecting the prehistoric Gui-shan communities may share the early Austronesian heritage with the concurrent Paiwan group.