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Characteristics Of Nestorian Grave Material From Inner Mongolia

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Chapter Summary

The Nestorian funerary heritage raises a number of questions regarding the characteristics and the development of Nestorian Christianity in Inner Mongolia. The choice for a Christian grave indicates of course a Christian identity. This chapter contextualizes the material culture of the Nestorian Öngüt. Nestorian inscriptions can be divided into short undated inscriptions on gravestones and epitaphs or commemorative inscriptions on steles. The inscriptions are written in the Syriac, Uighur and Chinese writing systems and languages. The Church of the East emphasized the Second Coming and used the 'plain cross' without an image of the crucified Christ, rather than the crucifix. The design of Nestorian grave material suggests influences from Chinese and Muslim graves. Decorative motifs can also be traced to Persia, Central Asia and China.

Keywords:Öngüt; Inner Mongolia; Nestorian Christians; Nestorian grave material



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