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Earthenware Zhuang Yuan (manor)
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2020.01.09 10:03:53 Views:


Western Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 25)
Length 130 cm, Width I 4 cm
Excavated in Huaiyang County, Henan Province, 1981

Zhuang Yuan manors were composed of two main parts: gardens, and courtyards and compounds. This model manor is arranged in a three-courtyard, four compound structure. The main gate to the front courtyard has a pitched roof with overhanging eaves, and features a double-lattice gate, with a wall painting of master and servant on the external wall. Inside, to the right, stands a rectangular trough, with stables on either side of the courtyard. Atop the second gate is a gate tower with pitched roof, with lattice windows on every wall. There are two four-story corner towers, with circular full moon windows, on either side of this second gate tower. The side wings have saddle roofs without overhanging ends. 



The main structure in the central courtyard is built on a high platform. The lower level has no fore-wall, and features two flights of steps leading into the main hall, where musicians play various instruments, such as the qin(zither)and sheng(a reed mouth organ with pipes stuck into a gourd), and others clap their hands. In front of and beside the musicians are cups and earthenware plates. A doorway on the right exterior of the main hall leads to the side wing via a stairway and a gateway then leads to the upper floor of the great tower. On the top floor of this tower a door leads onto a balcony with an openwork banister.

The rear wall of the tower's top floor features two windows. The buildings in the rear courtyard have pitched roofs with overhanging eaves. The right side has a toilet and pigpen, the middle area is the kitchen, and the left has another toilet.

This is the largest and most detailed early Western Han architectural model manor to have been excavated in Henan. All aspects are meticulously executed as a realistic representation of daily life. It is a concrete illustration of the economic development that allowed the production of elite manors of this kind during this period.