A large tomb tile with pierced impressed cross hatch designs with rows of mounted and standing archers, fish and cranes

Tomb Tile


Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), About AD 100

Tomb tiles were used as doors and to line the walls of tombs in Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) China. Cheaper than carving blocks of stone, tiles could be easily formed and then decorated with designs that were stamped into wet clay. They then were allowed to either dry in the sun or were fired in a low temperature kiln. On this tile, notice the archers that turn to fire their arrows over their shoulders on their speeding horses. This is a design adopted by the Chinese from Persian prototypes.