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Han’s stone engravings

Tags: engraving | Han dynasty | tomb

Han Dynasty stone engravings mainly appeared in buildings such as tombs, or in the ancestral halls in front of the tombs. These engravings are related to the burials. According to research, the stone engravings were the products of proper Han burial rites. The proper custom was to remember the achievements of the diseased, which also has the effect of elevating the reputation of the family. The “Wu-shi ancestral hall” is a typical engraved stone hall in the late East Han, which had stone engravings of all themes decorating the walls of the hall. Besides honoring the accomplishments of the deceased, it also has several historical themes, for instance, “Jing Ke assassinates the Qin emperor”, or, “Confucius inquires into the philosophy of Lao”.
The graphic content of this stone engraving describes the story of Guan Zhong of Chi who assassinated the Lord Huan Hiao Bai in the Spring and Autumn period. Later the Lord Huan was forgiving, and put Guan Zhong in charge and he became one of the “five powers of the Spring and Autumn period”. The one holding the bow in the picture is Guan Zhong, and the one holding the umbrella is Shu Ya Bao, and the one that Shu Ya Bao is protecting is Hiao Bai the Lord Huan of Chi. Even though the engraving is incomplete, the engraving was delicate and the shapes of the people were refined. Indeed, these are top quality Han stone engravings.

National Museum of History