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Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb: Bird-Shaped Finial

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Along with 7,000-some terracotta warriors, over 10,000 objects (figures, weapons, incense burners, instruments, and more) have been found in Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb. “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” features over 120.

To highlight these objects, we present to you Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb.

Bird-Shaped Finial; Warring States period (475?221 BCE); Bronze with inlaid silver ornaments; Height 3 cm; Width 7.8 cm; Acquired in 1983; Xi?an Municipal Museum G97; The image is produced with kind permission from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre.

New technologies during the Warring States period allowed metals to be inlaid in bronze. Scrolling designs of inlaid silver adorn this elegant bronze bird, which recent archaeology suggests was a finial on a dagger handle.

Visit “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” to see this object (and many more!) in person. Pick up a copy of the exhibition catalogue to learn more about the First Emperor and his captivating mausoleum.

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