@1 day ago with 81 notes
Western Asian tomb figures found in a Chinese tomb, c. 650-750 AD.
Interestingly, the riders of the camels are not Chinese: they have distinctive facial features and wear beards. Probably, they are traders from the far west, from Central Asia or even further afield. The figures were originally painted; traces of red and brown paint are still visible. They also had reins and the riders carried spears in their hands. These components of leather, textile or wood have, like the colours, been lost over the course of time. Considerable attention was therefore given to the carving of the figures, since the materials were known to deteriorate. Of course, once buried, they would not be seen by anyone.
Currently housed in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.