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Funerary Brick: Tomb Guardian

Location

CHINA

Era

Northern Wei dynasty (386-534 C.E.)-early Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)

Title

Funerary Brick: Tomb Guardian

Date

6th-7th c. C.E.

Materials

Earthenware, traces of pigment

Dimensions

33.8 x 17.2 x 7.7 cm

Credits

Gift of Claude Paradis, inv. 2016.182

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Our relief was once part of a larger composition decorating the interior walls of a tomb or the sides of a masonry coffin. Conceived in high relief, our guardian protected the coffin or stood at the entrance of the burial chamber to fend off human intruders and evil spirits. Pictorial bricks with images in high relief became a common feature in Buddhist temples, caves and pagodas during the Northern Wei period.

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