This male head is made of light-gray clay and is missing the rest of his body. the act of heating pottery in a kiln. in a low-temperature a type of oven for firing clay or porcelain to make ceramic ware., it is unglazed and covered entirely with a white clay coating called “clay liquefied with water for painting onto a ceramic body. Slip can come in many colors depending on what type of minerals are added to the clay..” The facial features are sculpted and enhanced through paint. Traces of pink, red, and black pigment are still visible on the face. The head seems to represent a Caucasian or Iranian man. He wears a tall a native or inhabitant of ancient or modern Persia (or Iran), or a person of Persian descent. style cone-shaped hat. The craftsman of this head obviously enjoyed the freedom of caricaturing the figure’s foreign appearance. He has bulging eyes with large staring pupils and a prominent nose with big nostrils. It almost seems like he is making a grimace.
(tahng) a series of rulers from a single family. (618–907) China was one of the greatest empires of the world. It possessed an international atmosphere thanks to the openness of its rulers and the an ancient network of land and sea trade routes established during the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) that existed until the middle of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). These trade routes stretched from China across Asia to the Near East, the Mediterranean, and East Africa. trade routes that connected China with India, Western Asia, the Mediterranean, and East Africa. In cosmopolitan cities like (chahng ahn) present-day X’ian (Shannxi province); capital of the Western Han dynasty and Tang Empire. and (loo-o-uh-yahng), non-Chinese visitors came from all over the eastern hemisphere. One could pass by traders, missionaries, and visitors of many different races on the streets. This male head may be based on such a traveler from the west, most likely a a person from Sogdiana, and ancient Iranian civilization. (an Iranian people who resided in present-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and were known for their trade along the Silk Road during the fourth to eighth centuries).
For the ancient Chinese, the afterlife was as important as one’s existence in the earthly world. This means tombs were considered as homes of the deceased. Since the (chin) a series of rulers from a single family. (221–206 BCE), the ancient Chinese were buried with miniature representations of everything they would need in the afterlife, including horses, entertainers, servants, and other human and animal subjects. This figure may have been made to represent a groom, one who attends to horses and stables. Horses were one of the key goods that Central Asians, especially the Sogdians, traded in. The Sogdians were also known for their horse breeding and training skills.
- Research some of the other pots and other articles made from clay hardened by heat. figures that have been found in (tahng) a series of rulers from a single family. tombs. What was the purpose of these figures, and what do they represent about beliefs in the afterlife during the Tang dynasty in China?
- Why do you think the craftsman chose to exaggerate the facial features of the sculpture? Do you think this figure could be considered a stereotype of a foreigner? Why or why not?
- This figure is thought to represent a a person from Sogdiana, and ancient Iranian civilization. man. Research an ancient Iranian civilization that existed between the sixth century BCE and eleventh century CE. Its territory included present-day Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. and its relationship with China during the Tang dynasty.