News   Contact   Archaeology   Policy   Search   SiteMap   Links   Français   中文
    Tel: +86-10-87709858  
    Fax: +86-10-87709228  
    E-Mail: info@farAsia.com.cn  



A605, No.5 Bldg, BaiziYuan, Chaoyang, Beijing, 100124, China.





If you need the complete article with more pictures, please contact us.

The Appearance and Application of Chinese Tomb Painting

Abstract: The studies on the Chinese tomb paintings mainly have dealt with the subject matters and contents of wall paintings in a tomb. The paper titled "The Construction and Function of Tomb Paintings," however, paid an attention on the evolution and function of murals inside a tomb in the development of Chinese tomb construction. Especially, while most researches on the topic have concerned about  those tombs with murals from the late Western Han to the Eastern Han built of a large hollow tile or a small brick, the paper traced back to the tomb paintings from the early periods including the Zhou, the Warring States period, and the early Western Han for the orig! in and function of tomb murals. Since I do not have a different opinion on most parts of the paper presented, I would like to ask two simple questions in the following.

    First of all, with regard to the content and origin of the early period tomb paintings, the authors disagreed with the opinion of many scholars that the early tomb murals originated from the palace or temple paintings since Shang and Zhou dynasties as well as the funerary paintings from the Chu in the Warring States period. While the purpose and function of the murals in a palace and temple are didactic and realistic, those of tomb murals intend to console the soul of the deceased and to help the soul ascend to heaven. One question I would like to ask is even though the early Western Han tomb murals might have intended to the above purpose, if we move to the ! Eastern Han period, the subject matters of tomb murals also include didactic and realistic ones. So, in my opinion, the murals at a palace and temple architecture also might need to be considered as one of the origins of tomb murals.

    Second, in "the Ideology of Funerary Rituals", the authors noted that there are common features  in the appearance and function of tomb murals and funerary rituals, and they are interrelated each other. Here, the presenters explained the concept of po and hun . The purpose and function of the tomb paintings and tomb architecture is to protect the dead body as consoling po , and to help hun ascend to heaven. Thus, the tomb architecture and decoration evolved with these two basic functions, protecting the dead body 安魄 and helping the hun to ascend to heaven 安魂. The presenters concluded that the initiative motive to depict a painting in a tomb is to represent heaven where the deceased's soul eventually returns.

    In the last part of the paper, the presenters discussed the development of a large hollow brick tomb and a small brick tomb in the Han period. Besides two major factors such as the economic development and the immortality ideology as well as rich burials influenced by the Confucianism and filial piety, the paper added another point that the change in the construction of a tomb including the utilization of a brick also contributed to the evolution of tomb murals. The structural features of a large hollow tile tomb and a small brick tomb were effective in creating ideological heaven for the deceased's soul.

    The paper presented an important point in that how the structural evolution of a funerary architecture influenced on the development of tomb paintings, and how the architectural feature of a tomb is interrelated to the subject matters of the early funerary murals. I would like to just add some comments on the evolution of Chinese murals tombs in comparison with Korean mural tombs. The ceiling paintings in Chinese tombs seem to be less emphasized as it moved to the Eastern Han period when the major subjects of murals became the actual life of the deceased and human figures in daily life scenes. Although there are some exceptions like the Tomb No. 5 at Dingjiaz! ha, Jiuquan, Gansu from the Wei-Jin period, Chinese mural tombs from the Wei-Jin and the Northern and Southern Dynasties and thereafter show less interest in decorating the ceiling. It is contrary to the case of Koguryo tombs where the tomb builders consider a ceiling as another important space to represent their ideology and next world view. The presented paper which examined the development of the early tomb murals in relation with the hun and po ideology and showed an emphasis on the ! representation of heaven in the early murals would help to enhance und erstanding on the interrelationship between architecture and murals concerning Chinese and Koguryo mural tombs.

Author: Mr. YAO Zhiyuan, Ms. XU Chanfei

Translated by Pref. Piao Yalin at Korea.

June, 2004, Issued at Study of Chinese History, vol.30,Dakeu, Korea,

Talking About amenity pictures on Bronze Vessel of Zhou Dynasty

Abstract: From Spring and Autumn Period on bronze vessel of Zhou Dynasty there is a popular carving skills which is forming incised lines into pictures. The topic which was something related to amenity and ceremony is valued information for study of history, amenity rule and amenity ceremony of Zhou Dynasty.

Key words: Zhou Dynasty, Incised Line Bronze Vessel, Amenity

Discuss of Tomb Mural Paintings of Song Dynasty at Luoyang City


Abstract:Before Song Dynasty the cause of tomb mural paintings is because of religion and mediumistic, then is the institution. But it is not the same reason in Song Dynasty. Due to the prosperous and development of economy, the commons became richer and the number of the riches had increased more, both had impacted the society, which was comprehensive and thus spread to burial system.


The art form of tomb mural paintings of Song was derived from Tang’s, but because of big different status of the owner and social background, they are different in are style. Supposing Tang’s are rough and vigorous, well then the Song’s are fine and elegant.


Key Words: Luoyang, Tomb Mural painting at Song Dynasty

Tentative cause of death for the Master of M21 Tomb In Period II Culture, at Lingkou Site, Lintong City

Abstract: The Master of M21 Tomb of Period II Culture at Lingkou Site, Lintong City, was a female teenage aged 16-18 years, whose gesture was astonished by the Founder when they saw her skeleton at first sight. “Her both joints of arm and the joint of left leg were twisted and the limbs were shifted without left hand. From skull to pelvis there are 18 pieces of bone wares inserted, such as KAI, arrow, fork etc. four of which are inserted from perineum to pelvis. The bone wares were still inserted in the skeleton when it was found.”

The difficult position made people with big question and great concerns. By analyzing the death position, age, sex and the criminal bone wares remaining at her body, the cause could be something related with barbarism witchcraft and sacrifice in the period of the Matriarchal Society. Her death was the result of once sacrifice as an immolation. The more approach to the real fact is that she was not only the sacrifice, but also a sorceress herself.

Key Words: Lingkou Site, Witchcraft, Sorceress, Sacrifice

Author: Ms Hsu Cham-fei, GENG YUN LUN CONG-II, Editor: Luoyang Cultural Relic Management Bureau. Publisher: Science Publisher. Published on Mar 14th, 2003. ISBN: 7-03-010844-2/K.206

 Tentative Study of Big Tree Mural Painting- in Sixteen Kingdoms Tomb
-The Status of Master of No. 5 Tomb at Dingjiazha, Jiuquan

Abstract:There is very surprising mural painting at No. 5 Tomb at Dingjiazha, Jiuquan City of Gansu Province. It has something related to the ancient worship conception of respecting animal & vegetations by the primitive ancestors. The Big Tree should represent a kind of sacred tree, therefore it is a SACRED TREE. The flourish tree, the naked woman sweeping ground and the monkeys climbing on the trees formed the scenery that this is the origin myth. By studying of the connotative birth myth at the Sacred Tree together with situation of grand scale of tomb, luxuries decoration, we can sure that the master is a honored noble with high position even the chieftain of Qiang Nationality.

Key Words: Jiuquan, Gansu, Sixteen Kindoms, Sacred Tree, Origin Myth
Author: Ms Hsu Cham-fei, GENG YUN LUN CONG-I, Editor: Luoyang Cultural Relic Management Bureau. Publisher: Science Publisher. Published on Oct 8th, 1999.ISBN: 7-03-007814/K.106

Meanings of Fish-Dragon-Picture in Han Dynasty

Abstract:You will always see fish & dragon swimming together at tomb mural paintings in Han Dynasty. Researchers call it as Fish-Dragon-Picture. The contents which were formed by the fish-dragon-picture display epoch significance, i.e. the very popular myth called “CHANGEOVER OF FISH OR DRAGON”. It reflects the strong desires of ascending to heaven and become immortal, long live etc. in Han Dynasties. They are valuable relic for study of social ideology and funeral customs in Han Dynasties.

Key Words: Figures at Han Dynasty, Fish-Dragon-Picture, Ascend to Heaven and become immortal
Author: Ms Hsu Cham-fei, Issued at No. 143 The National Palace Museum Monthly Chinese Art.

Filiation, Evolvement and Celebrities of Surname YAO

Abstract: Surname YAO is one of the most ancient surnames in Chinese. Many of the eminence surnames in 100 Surname, such as CHEN, WANG, HU, SUN, YU, TIAN, YUAN, FENG and LU etc. are evolved from surname YAO. The primogenitor of YAO is one of The Five Mythical Emperors (Wudi), Shun Di. Because of his birth place is at Yaoxu in Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province so that he was named YAO. According to a pedigree of YAO family there are more than 130 generations from primogenitor Yao until now. In the book of 100 Surname issued in Song Dynasty, the position of YAO is at 101 position, but the new research indicates that more than 60 surnames are evolved from YAO, which are widely lived in more than 40 countries. Surname YAO is one of the most ancient and most eminence surname among all surnames.

Key Words: Filiation of Surname YAO, Shun Di
Author: Ms. Hsu Chan-fei, YAO Zhiyuan

The Influence of Confucian Theology to Funeral Mural Painting between Han Dynasties

Abstract: Confucian Theology, also called New Confucianism, was completed and developed by Master Dong Zhongshu, the Master Scholar in Han Dynasty, based on the thoughts of Confucius. It experienced the procedure of formation, development and nationalization and brought out strong impact of the time and for every facet in the later two thousand years. As a form of Confucian funeral culture, funeral mural paintings was a kind of popular form in Han Dynasties, which was indeed influenced and effected during nationalization of Confucian theology. This impact and influence were based on enriching contents & themes and speeded up directly the development and innovation of funeral mural paintings.

Main Chapters:

  1. The formation, development and nationalization of Confucian Theology in Han Dynasties.

  2. The expansion and richness of contents by Confucian Theology.

  3. The application and meaning of figures in Confucian Theology.

  4. Conclusion.

Key Words: Han Dynasty, Confucian Theology, Funeral Figure

Useful links:

The Archaeology Channel


Send mail to info@farAsia.com.cn with questions or comments.
Copyright © 2003 Far Asia Co., Ltd (China) 
Last modified: 06/14/20