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Treasures from the Emperor’s Tomb: Sword Blade with Inlaid Openwork Hilt

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.

Sword Blade with Inlaid Openwork Hilt; Spring and Autumn period (770?476 BCE); Iron and gold with inlaid turquoise; Length 37.8cm, Hilt Length 12.7cm, Blade Length 24.5cm, Blade Width 4cm, Weight 343.6 grams; Excavated from Tomb 2 at Yimen village in Baoji, Shaanxi, 1992; Baoji Municipal Archaeological Institute BYM2:1; The image is produced with kind permission from the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre.

In 1992 at Yimen village in Baoji, Shaanxi. This ceremonial sword is one of three with gold hilts discovered there. Its iron blade and gold hilt were cast separately and then joined with a rivet joint. The granulated background on the hilt shows stylistic influence from the nomadic peoples of the northern steppe.

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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