AGE: – Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD)
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Tang Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Ox With Cart – Age related wear and breakages
HEIGHT: – 18cm
LENGTH: – 36cm
WEIGHT:– 2.35 Kg.
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Chinese Tang Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Ox With Cart made specifically for burials. The tips of the horns are broken and one of the spokes on the cart has been broken and glued back on a little carelessly, but still an impressive Tang Dynasty funerary object.
Earthenware and terracotta mingqi funerary objects excavated from burial chambers in China opens a window in time to the customs and rituals of Chinese culture when it was customary to bury miniature objects and replicas of almost anything that was used in their daily life. These objects provide evidence of how both the rich and poor lived in China and what was important to them.
The Chinese believe that the afterlife was just a continuation or an extension of their living existence, and by burying these miniature objects with the deceased they would appease the soul and provide that for which he or she was attached to or used during his lifetime, thus, ensuring a happy afterlife.
These funerary objects are referred to as Mingqi, they can be represented in many different forms such as miniature eating utensils, tables, chairs, animals such as camels, dogs, pigs as well as human figures. Houses or other types of buildings such as pig pens and granaries were a popular form of mingqi. A funerary object such as this terracotta ox and cart may have been representative of the deceased’s livelihood, he was possibly a farmer, using the oxen to pull a plough to till the soil for planting crops.
Due to the expansion and development China is enjoying in present times, many of these burial chambers have been exposed whilst excavating land for buildings and farms, others have been plundered over time.