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Death And The Dead: Practices And Images In The Qin And Han

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the funeral practices and beliefs prevalent in the Qin and Han. The author begins by presenting, in its main lines, the evolution of the structure of the tombs, their decoration and furnishings, and then a discussion follows that embodies the tomb as a cosmological system, the objects and apotropaic images it contained, and the exorcist rites practiced there. Finally, the author tries to see what this ensemble, interwoven with the texts, reveals of the beliefs in the next world, taking into account the different interpretations which have been advanced. It is the prodigious work of the archaeologists that allows the measurement of the importance of the funerary culture at the beginning of the imperial period. In a field of studies which evolves very quickly, this short synthesis has no other pretension than to indicate the state of the field and to propose some working hypotheses.

Keywords: burials; death; funeral; Han; images; Qin; tomb



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