6th-century pottery figurine testament to cultural exchange on Silk Road

Updated: Jan 2, 2024 Print
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A pottery figurine depicting a foreigner eating a pancake on a camel, Sui Dynasty, unearthed from the tomb of Hulyu Che in Taiyuan, Shanxi province [Photo/Official WeChat account of the Shanxi Museum]

Behold this pottery figurine unearthed from the tomb of Hulyu Che (563-595), an official of the Sui Dynasty (581-618). It portrays with lifelike details a foreigner riding a camel while enjoying a meal.

The tall camel stands majestically, carrying silk and leather pouches between its humps. The foreigner, with thick eyebrows and deep-set eyes, is perched atop the pouches, eating a pancake held in his right hand.

The figurine, permanently housed at the Shanxi Museum, is testimony to the cultural exchange and integration along the Silk Road, and showcases the characteristics of early Sui Dynasty art. It also serves as valuable material for research on costume history.

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