Chinese General & Princess Tomb Filled With Figurines

Photo courtesy Chinese Cultural Relics

The tomb of a general and his princess wife buried on March 18, in the year 564, has been discovered in China.

Found tomb containing skeletons of General Zhao Xin and Princess Neé Liu.

The princess was the daughter of the Cong Ming King from the Northern Qi Dynasty, which existed for just 27 years and was one of the shortest and mysterious dynasties in Chinese history.

The ancient tomb, which contained the couple’s skeletons, was also filled with figurines.

Apart from the remains of the couple, 80 exquisite coloured figurines have also been found inside their tomb chamber.

A sandstone inscription found in the tomb describes the life of the couple Zhao Xin and his wife, Princess Neé Liu. The inscription says (in translation), “On the 20th day of the second moon of the third year of the Heqing period [a date researchers said corresponds to March 18, 564], they were buried together.”

Zhao was the son of the leader of a local tribe and was born with a general title, according to the inscription, which was written in ancient Chinese.

The man was born with a general title and was promoted three times in his life. When he died at the age of 67, he was the general of a garrison of solders at Huangniu Town, leading some 5,000 soldiers.

The man’s presence could ‘command a hundred cities and scare off 10,000 men’, said the inscription.

As a reward to his loyal service, Zhao was given three more titles after he had passed away, including the Jiabiaoqi Great General and the local executive of Chanshan County.

Of Princess Neé Liu, the inscription says that “by nature, she was modest and humble, and sincerity and filial piety were her roots. Her accommodating nature was clear, her behavior respectful and chaste.”

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A Time Before Instagram

jade-meat

Long before Instagram feeds and MasterChef cook-offs highlighted a near-universal obsession with the visual appearance of food, a craftsman in 19th-century China meticulously carved and dyed a chunk of jasper, a jade-like stone, to look like a piece of braised pork belly. The National Palace Museum in Taipei has long showcased this uncanny sculpture, known as “the meat-shaped stone,” as one of its most prized holdings, very rarely loaning it out. But now the glistening dish is leaving Taipei to make its North American debut in a city that celebrates Chinese cuisine: San Francisco.

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10 things you need to know about Chinese ceramics

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Handle as many pieces as possible

Chinese ceramics have been copied for hundreds of years by Chinese potters. They copy out of a reverence for an earlier period but often just to fool the buyer. The market has many copies so buyer beware. When starting to collect ceramics, there is no shortcut to learning and authenticating pieces than to handle as many as possible. Take advantage of the large numbers of Chinese ceramics offered around the world at reputable auction houses. In many ways, auction houses are even better than museums as you can handle pieces in cabinets. In handling many pieces, you get a feel for what a ceramic should feel like in the hand, the weight of the piece, the quality of the painting.

Ask questions

Building the knowledge needed to authenticate Chinese ceramics can take many years. Reading reference books can give a structure to the field but pick specialists’ brains and ask as many questions as possible. There is nothing that a specialist with a little time on their hands likes better than to talk about their subject.

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China’s top 10 archaeological finds of 2015

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A painted frame of a se with circular carved phoenix head and painted vertical scale patterns on part of the body is excavated in Guojiamiao cemetery.[Photo/kaogu.cn]

Chinese archaeologists have selected the top 10 archaeological discoveries in China of 2015, with the earliest dating back to the Paleolithic era.

The following is the list made public by the China Archaeological Society and a newspaper sponsored by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage on Monday:

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