The entrance to the tomb of a member of the Tang aristocracy was elaborate, not only to display their wealth but also to protect the body and valuables inside from unwanted spirits and graverobbers. Leading to the tomb was a shendao (spirit path) flanked by pairs of stone animals and human attendants. At the end of the path, a doorway marked the entrance; on the other side of the door, a ramp led down to the burial chamber. The most elaborate ceramic tomb guardians were placed along the sides of the ramp. At the Asian Art Museum, you can see different types of tomb guardians, both human figures and composite animal figures.
Ready to make your own?
You can see that there are different types of tomb guardians: human figures and composite animal figures. Now, create your own tomb guardian by downloading “Draw Your Own Tomb Guardian”. Will your guardian have a human form or will it bring together different parts of scary animals?