goat pen

Model of goat pen, dated to 1st century A.D., Han Dynasty. During the second half of the Han Dynasty, restrictions on burials of precious materials led to the burial of ceramic models. Interestingly, figures of men and women were not as prominent as replicas of buildings – mainly structures of rural life. Interest in buildings may have been initiated by the Qin, where the burial of model granaries was common. The model buildings were most likely interred to perpetuate below ground a convincing picture of the living world.

Loan courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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