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Cover for The Search for Immortality

The Search for Immortality

Tomb Treasures of Han China

James C. S. Lin (Editor)


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The Han dynasty was the first to forge a stable empire governing all of China. It ruled during a golden age that shaped much of the nation's cultural history and development. In an effort to preserve their legacy of beauty and power, the Han created elaborate tombs containing exquisite artistic treasures intended for use in the afterlife. The finest of these treasures to have survived include exquisite jades, bronzes, and ceramics, found in the tombs of the Han imperial family and of a rival "emperor" of Nanyue.

Many of the items, including warrior statues, dancing figures, and priceless jewels—intended to ensure protection, entertainment, and continued wealth and status, respectively—are brought together for the first time in this stunning publication. Featuring newly commissioned photography and essays by leading scholars, this sumptuously illustrated catalogue presents a ground-breaking account of the finest treasures from the Han dynasty.

Yale University Press, 9780300184341, 376pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

About the Author

James C. S. Lin is Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Applied Arts, The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.