Earthenware, die-stamped relief
Overall: 137.2 cm (54 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph King 1915.69
Striding tigers (top), racing horsemen (right column), and reverent officials (left column) are stamped into the surface of this underground portal to a tomb. The doorway preserves in stone the post-and-lintel structure, a basic element of Chinese wooden architecture.
By the first century AD, a revolution in Chinese tomb construction and furnishing had taken place. Tombs lined with decorated bricks and tiles replace the earlier tombs constructed with only rammed earth-walls. Ceramic surrogates or models of stoves, houses, servants, and pets filled these more durable chambers, symbolically extending the creature comforts of this world into the world after death.
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