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Top Story of a Tower (Tomb Model)

A work made of earthenware with green lead glaze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware with green lead glaze.


Eastern Han dynasty (A.D.25–220)



About this artwork

As burial practices filtered down from the Han aristocracy to officials and landowners, tomb models related to farming, an honored occupation, became increasingly popular. These models provide rough but lively impressions of rural compounds. The granary, used to store millet, barley, and wheat, was depicted either as a jar or as a small building. This building combines realistic and imaginative details: angular brackets support a tiled roof with ridgepoles and roundels and crowned with an oversize bird and floral roof ends.


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Arts of Asia


Top Story of a Tower (Tomb Model)


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

25 CE–220 CE


Earthenware with green lead glaze


44.5 × 37.5 × 38 cm (17 1/2 × 14 3/4 × 14 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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