ChinaLee - Kyuhwa Lee VIS127B Professor Kuiyi Shen December...

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Kyuhwa Lee VIS127B Professor Kuiyi Shen December 2nd 2010 Tomb of the Marquis of Dai The world famous Mawangdui Han Tombs is one of the most absorbing attractions in Hunan Province in the eastern suburb of Changsha City in China. This place is a nobleman’s family grave yard from approximately two thousand years ago in Han Dynasty of early China, and “all three tombs were excavated between 1972 and 1974. Among the more than 3,000 relics unearthed, were exquisite lacquer-ware, musical instruments, silk paintings, bamboo slips, seals, pottery and Chinese medicinal herbs, etc”(Wang 1). People from Han dynasty believed that everything they bury will serve the emperor’s afterlife. Therefore, they constructed the tomb for a nobleman and his family and buried everything that Li Cang would need for his next life such as his money, food, cloth and even live pets and servants. Tomb of the Marquis of Dai has offered us great insight into the study of the burial systems, the developments of art in the Han Dynasty, moreover, the history and culture. (Xuelian 1) Tomb 1 which is located on east of the site contains the wife of the nobleman, Marquis of Dai. The undamaged corpse of Xin Zhui was discovered inside four garnished coffin containing abundant aliments, manikins of servants and entertainers, luxurious garments and domestic appliances to assure a pleasant afterlife. Despite more than 2,000 years of burial, the corpse was still elastic and ample. Various nested coffins were intentionally used to conserve the deceased body, acknowledging needs of dwelling place for the spirit, although thousands of corpses during Han dynasty were not come close to the
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condition of Xin Zhui’s corpse. The tomb pit was sealed tightly by layers of clay and charcoal, a strategy advanced in the Warring State Period. The well-preserved body was in excellent condition enough to be autopsied by researchers according to Chinaculture Organization. The lady is studied to have deceased about 163 BC due to a heart attack at the age of 50 years old. Though she was considered to be obese at the time, she was thought to be beautiful as a young woman and her deliberated condition was occurred by excess richness in food and exercise deprivation. However, her burial with abundant food offerings should not be the reason why we infer the lady was a glutton. The tomb was also surrounded by “minggi” or “glorious vessels” purposely supply the p’o with familiar environments. The generic use of minggi was disseminated from the Warring States of Period in the 5th century BC. These items would have been displayed publicly during the ceremony that preceded the entombment. Figurines of servants and musicians discovered among other artifacts, like the
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2011 for the course VIS 125A taught by Professor Shen during the Spring '10 term at UCSD.

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ChinaLee - Kyuhwa Lee VIS127B Professor Kuiyi Shen December...

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