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Mingqi

CHINESE TOMB FIGURINES

BY
WILLEM CLAESSEN

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Architectural tomb figurines

Virtually nothing survives of the cities and towns of the Han and Tang periods in China except some remains of walls and terraces made of rammed earth because Chinese builders used perishable materials such as wood and earth for the majority of the civlisation's architecture. Much of what has been pieced together about early Chinese architecture and urban design comes from written texts, scant remains, tomb chamber designs, and Mingchi.

From archaeological excavations it is clear that he Han emperors held multi-storied buildings in high esteem. Their purpose was to provide a link between the world of mortals and the realm of the immortals. Some of the towers constructed by Han Wudi reached over one hundred meters in height.