Ancient Life Captured by Funerary Objects of Han Dynasty

In the world's galaxy of ancient culture, the deceased are buried with all sorts of useful stuff that hopefully can be used in the hereafter, as is illustrated by the range of funerary objects currently on show in China Agriculture Museum.

All made of pottery, the 120 funerary objects on show represent more than 1,800 years of history in a pottery world of mansions, green glazed pottery barns and workshops, painted pottery cattle, pottery mills and wells.

All the relics were excavated in central China's Henan and southwest China's Sichuan provinces, two prosperous areas in the Han Dynasty (BC206--220AD).

Ancient toilets were built on pigpens, and apparently then, the funerary objects indicate, women and men began using separate toilets.

A sheep pen, no bigger than a medium-sized ashtray, is packed with six sheep with a child sitting astride the bellwether. Even the swirls of fur on the backs of the sheep and the child's hair decorations can be easily recognized.

A three-walled grain-processing house has mortars and grinding sets inside; similar workshops still exist in some places of China 's countryside now.

A miniature kitchen has a chimney, pans, half-gourd-shaped ladles, fire tongs, strainers, scoops and a sheep's head, which was a main sacrifice in ancient China, fish, vegetables and meat. Two big pans can be removed from their pits.

A green glazed pottery well was equipped with buckets, a winch and pottery ropes, which are no thicker than noodles.

A pottery figurine-playing zither represents the recreational side of life in the Han Dynasty.

Experts believe the funerary objects are of great historic and art value as they reproduce life of ancient China.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/20/2001)

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