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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Room 10 | China 3000 BC-AD 800 gallery

Discover over 3000 years of Chinese history and culture through surviving artefacts, objects and texts.

China 3000 BC - AD 800 gallery

Burial practices

Han Dynasty burial practices

Han dynasty (c.206 BC - AD 220) burial practices included placing models of everyday things in tombs. Buildings, human figures, domestic animals and utensils all feature. Most are of ceramic: with low-fired lead glazes but in east China the Yue kilns made burial models in the local technique, high-fired with green iron glazes.

Greenware burial vessel section in the form of man holding a goat (EA1956.969) Greenware burial vessel section in the form of man holding a goat (EA1956.969)   Greenware burial figure of man holding a staff (EA1956.970) Greenware burial figure of man holding a staff (EA1956.970)   Greenware burial figure of man playing a harp (EA1956.967) Greenware burial figure of man playing a harp (EA1956.967)   Greenware burial figure of woman and child (EA1956.968) Greenware burial figure of woman and child (EA1956.968)
Greenware burial model of stove with food vessels (EA1956.938) Greenware burial model of stove with food vessels (EA1956.938)   Greenware burial model of stove with cooking vessels (EA1956.940) Greenware burial model of stove with cooking vessels (EA1956.940)
Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.363) Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.363)   Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.961) Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.961)   Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.963) Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.963)
Greenware burial figure of dog in a pen (EA1956.960) Greenware burial figure of dog in a pen (EA1956.960)   Greenware burial figure of animal in a pen (EA1956.253) Greenware burial figure of animal in a pen (EA1956.253)   Greenware burial figure of animal in a pen (EA1956.958) Greenware burial figure of animal in a pen (EA1956.958)
Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.263) Greenware burial figure of pig in a pen (EA1956.263)   Greenware burial figure of a dog (EA1956.370) Greenware burial figure of a dog (EA1956.370)   Greenware burial figure of a dog (EA1956.977) Greenware burial figure of a dog (EA1956.977)
Greenware burial figure of chicken in a coop (EA1956.934) Greenware burial figure of chicken in a coop (EA1956.934)   Burial model of a house (EA1969.51) Burial model of a house (EA1969.51)

Tang Dynasty burial practices

In the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907), burial models were displayed before being placed inside the tomb, and their size and type were regulated according to the status of the deceased. Many burial ceramics were covered with lead glazes in green, cream, yellow and sometimes blue. Others were unglazed but painted with red and black pigments. The brightly glazed pieces were made for only about fifty years, during the reign of emperor Minghuang when the dynasty was at its height. The capital city, Chang'an (modern Xi'an) was one of the most populous and cosmopolitan in the world at that time, and both the decoration and shapes of the ceramics show influences from the Central Asia and beyond.

Bowl on three legs (EA1956.3112) Bowl on three legs (EA1956.3112)   Stemmed dish (EA1956.3106) Stemmed dish (EA1956.3106)   Bowl with marbled decoration (EAX.1958) Bowl with marbled decoration (EAX.1958)
Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EA1972.19) Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EA1972.19)   Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EA1956.1044) Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EA1956.1044)   Circular box with cover (EAX.3956) Circular box with cover (EAX.3956)
Bowl with striped three-coloured glaze (EA1980.194) Bowl with striped three-coloured glaze (EA1980.194)   Cup with striped three-coloured glaze (EA1980.193) Cup with striped three-coloured glaze (EA1980.193)   Vase with three-colour glaze (EA1956.1079) Vase with three-colour glaze (EA1956.1079)
Ewer with dragon handle (EA1956.1080) Ewer with dragon handle (EA1956.1080)   Globular bowl with three-colour glaze (EA1956.1081) Globular bowl with three-colour glaze (EA1956.1081)   Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EAX.3957) Bowl with floral decoration and three-colour glaze (EAX.3957)
Green-glazed jar (EA1956.3113) Green-glazed jar (EA1956.3113)   Green-glazed jar (EA1956.3114) Green-glazed jar (EA1956.3114)   Bowl with blue glaze (EA1956.1056) Bowl with blue glaze (EA1956.1056)
Green-glazed ewer (EA1956.1026) Green-glazed ewer (EA1956.1026)   Figure of a tortoise (EA1956.1057) Figure of a tortoise (EA1956.1057)   Long-necked vase with green glaze (EA1956.1043) Long-necked vase with green glaze (EA1956.1043) Blue-glazed jar (EA1956.1076) Blue-glazed jar (EA1956.1076)
Lidded jar (EA1956.195) Lidded jar (EA1956.195) Pillow in the form of a rabbit with three colour glaze (EA2011.65) Pillow in the form of a rabbit with three colour glaze (EA2011.65) Earthenware jar (EA1956.1089) Earthenware jar (EA1956.1089)
Earthenware figure of a horse (EA1956.1063) Earthenware figure of a horse (EA1956.1063)   Earthenware model of oxen and cart (EA1956.1030) Earthenware model of oxen and cart (EA1956.1030)   Female figure (EAX.1401) Female figure (EAX.1401)
Figure of a female dancer (EA1991.57) Figure of a female dancer (EA1991.57)   Figure of a mandolin player (EA1991.58) Figure of a mandolin player (EA1991.58)   Figure of a harpist (EA1991.59) Figure of a harpist (EA1991.59)
Figure of a flautist (EA1991.60) Figure of a flautist (EA1991.60)   Seated figure of a lady holding a cup (EA1991.61) Seated figure of a lady holding a cup (EA1991.61)   Standing figure of a lady (EA1991.62) Standing figure of a lady (EA1991.62)
Earthenware figure of a camel with a saddle cloth (EA1980.404) Earthenware figure of a camel with a saddle cloth (EA1980.404)   Earthenware horse with saddle (EAX.3960) Earthenware horse with saddle (EAX.3960)   Earthenware figure of a groom (EAX.3961) Earthenware figure of a groom (EAX.3961)
Tomb figures in China 3000 BC - AD 800 gallery. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Tomb figures in China 3000 BC - AD 800 gallery.

The Silk Road

The Silk Road is the popular name for the routes that, for centuries, stretched across the ancient world from Japan to Rome. From north China to northwest India it extends across deserts and mountains, thousands of miles from any sea route. From around AD 400, monks travelled along the Silk Road from China to India in search of Buddhist teachings and sutras. Buddhist temples were constructed across China and were often decorated with ornamental motifs adopted in Gandhara (Afghanistan) from styles developed in the Classical world. Trade caravans meanwhile transported Chinese silks that were eventually sold in Rome. Textiles, coins and other portable objects demonstrate a rich exchange of ornament and decorative style.

 

Notice

Objects may have since been removed or replaced from a gallery. Click into an individual object record to confirm whether or not an object is currently on display. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis, so contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular Eastern Art object.

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