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Terracotta Mounted Figurines
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2021.11.25 16:27:24


Period: Western Han (206 BC--8 AD)
Measurements: Ranges of heights: 48--55 cm
Provenience: Unearthed from the Han tombs at Shiyuan(persimmon orchard) of Mt. Mangdang, Yongcheng, Shangqiu, Henan, 1986-1987

In the tomb complex of Western Han at the Mt. Mangdang, the tomb at Shiyuan is a large cave tomb made by digging in the mountain. Facing the west, the tomb comprises of the passageway, corridors, main chamber, arsenal, granary, cloakroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc., covering an area of 383 square meters. The tomb occupant was identified to be Liu Mai, Prince Gong of Liang state, the eldest son of King Xiao of Liang, Liu Wu. The most famous cultural relic from the tomb is the mural of Four Deities Amidst Clouds. A cluster of mounted pottery figurines were discovered under the paths of the tomb, 40 pieces in total; 20 from the south side, 20 from the north side. Additionally, the tomb also yielded other figurines such as guardians, gatekeepers, attendants, etc.

Being bluish gray, all of the mounted figurines were gray terracotta in texture, unanimously gazing to the front, hair divided into two parts from the middle of the head, respectively bundled at the temples with the chignon at the top of the head, two legs stretched outward with raised tiptoes, in the posture of horse-riding. The figurines vary in form, size, height, embodying the true-to-life artistic styles of the pottery figurine and the exquisite pottery-making craftsmanship of the Han dynasty.