Height: 42.000 cm
Length: 54.500 cm
Asia OA 1925.10-15.3
Room 33: Asia
Earthenware model of a cart with bullock and human figures
Six Dynasties period, 6th century AD
A model from a tomb
From the time of the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) tomb models showing aspects of daily life were common in China. After the fall of the Han dynasty the spectacular range of funerary models diminished, reappearing only after a few centuries with a new emphasis on figures, rather than buildings which had been more common in the Han. Fifth-century tombs in Henan in northern China and Shaanxi in central China revealed groups of ceramic figures.
earthenware tomb model is slightly later in date, from a period of
disunity in China known as the Six Dynasties (AD 265-589). The
model has been scientifically tested by a method known as
The bull pulling the cart is flanked by two men. Their features show that they are not Chinese. Underneath the bull is a jug. The model was executed with a great care for realistic detail.
J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)