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Eastern Han Dynasty Cliff Tombs of Santai Xian, Sichuan Province

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Rock-cut tombs were a popular choice for burial during the Eastern Han dynasty in Sichuan province. A number of sites in Santai Xian in the Qijiang area have yielded this type of tomb, featuring multiple chambers excavated deep into the cliffs. Many of these tombs have pseudo-architectural elements and wall decorations, with applied pigment still intact in some cases. This article explores the kinds of architectural structures that were copied in these tombs and the meaning of the décor that is carved in relief or painted on interior walls.


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