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Daily life in Asia

Model food dishes

Height: 2.80 cm
Diameter: 11.00 cm


Model food dishes

From: Shaanxi province, China
Date: about 1450-1600 AD (Ming dynasty)

These model food dishes were found in a tomb. They show the ingredients for a feast for the soul in the afterlife and give us an idea of the types of food enjoyed by the living in China at the time.

The foods are arranged into five main meats - a goat, a pig, a rabbit, a fish and a goose, and five accompanying dishes - pomegranates, peaches, water chestnuts, persimmons and mantou (steamed bread). They are placed in groups of four as the Chinese word 'si' meaning four sounds similar to the word 'si' meaning death.