Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown

Funerary Statuette: Bactrian Camel

Location

CHINA, SHAANXI or HENAN PROVINCE

Era

Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)

Title

Funerary Statuette: Bactrian Camel

Date

8th c.

Materials

Earthenware, painted decoration with natural pigments

Dimensions

70.5 x 49 x 20 cm

Credits

Gift of Claude Paradis, inv. 2017.35

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Intended for burial and produced en masse, these camels provide us with a colourful glimpse of life during the cosmopolitan Tang period. The animals’ presence in tombs tells us of the once-thriving trade routes connecting China and Central Asia and thence further west. Bactrian (two-humped) camels hauled goods across the arid northwest regions of the Tang empire. These hardy animals – “ships of the desert” – can travel long distances without water, and their padded feet are adapted to traversing the many sand dunes along the way. But camels are also known for their bad temper: if you look closely at the sculpture you can see a dissatisfied expression on its face as it stretches its long neck to bray.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation