Mingqi Pottery Buildings of Han Dynasty China, 206 BC -- AD 220: Architectural Representations and Represented Architecture

Mingqi Pottery Buildings of Han Dynasty China, 206 BC -- AD 220: Architectural Representations and Represented Architecture


By (author) Qinghua Guo

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  • Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 176mm x 246mm x 20mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Brighton
  • ISBN 10: 1845193210
  • ISBN 13: 9781845193218
  • Illustrations note: 330 b/w & 20 colour photos
  • Sales rank: 1,089,980

Product description

An enormous number of burial objects have been unearthed from ancient tombs in archaeological excavations in China. These mingqi were made in all kinds of materials and in a broad range of forms, techniques and craftsmanship. In this book Quinghua Guo examines a particular type of mingqi -- pottery building. The striking realism of the pottery buildings suggests that they were modelled after actual buildings. They bring to life courtyard houses, manors, towers, granaries and pigsty-privies, as well as cooking ranges and well pavilions. These pottery buildings, previously little known, preserve knowledge of antiquity and demonstrate the architectural quality and structural variety of the period. The author identifies the typology of the pottery buildings they signify in terms of ontology and semiology, in order to provide a conceptual map for classification, and identifies building systems reflected by the mingqi to detect architectonic systems of the Han dynasty. Key features of this volume include: Cross-disciplinary research -- architectural study interlocking with archaeological study; architectural study interlocking with graphic study. The Han pottery buildings are important architectural models from the ancient world, and are contrasted with wooden houses of Middle-Kingdom Egypt and brick buildings of the Minor civilisation, Crete, allowing cross-cultural comparisons.

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Author information

Qinghua Guo is senior lecturer of Asian architecture and planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She received her BA in architecture from Harbin University of Technology, China, and her PhD in architectural history from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. She is the author of several books and scholarly articles.

Review quote

"Qinghua Guo's "The Mingqi Pottery Buildings of Han Dynasty China" is a study of an intriguing and important aspect of Chinese architecture and burial practice that has never been fully understood. Mingqi is a complex term referring to objects of almost any variety placed in Chinese tombs. The subset of Han grave goods discussed in this book are pottery works shaped like buildings. More architectural mingqi are found in Han (206 BCE-220 CE) tombs than in earlier or later periods; thousands survive and hundreds are illustrated in the book. Guo tells the reader at the outset that she will not attempt to discuss the origins or evolution of mingqi. Rather, her purpose is to "present salient points of an architectonic nature ... from the standpoint of architectural representation." ...The strength of "The Mingqi Pottery Buildings of Han Dynasty China" is that it brings the attention of English readers to an aspect of Han architecture through more than 200 examples and invites them to evaluate the reliability of this architecture in miniature as evidence of the appearance of full-size buildings." --"Society of Architectural Historians"

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction: History & Research; Fortified Courtyard Houses; Multi-Storeyed & Multi-Eaved Buildings; Towers; Granaries & Storehouses; Colour plate section; Stoves & Wells; Pigsties & Privies; Roof Types & Ridge Ornaments; Production Methods & Techniques; Utilization or Representation? Gate-Shaped Tomb Bricks; Glossary of Chinese Characters; Bibliography; Index.