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date: 20 November 2019

Yi’nan [I-nan]locked

  • Martin J. Powers



County in south-central Shandong Province, China, where a large Han-period (206 bcad 220) tomb decorated with engravings, low reliefs and sculpture was found in 1953. The tomb (max. 8.70×7.55 m), in Yi’nan has attracted much interest because of its relatively naturalistic engravings.

Built of fine, dark grey limestone which, when polished, provides an excellent surface for engraving, the tomb consists of a forechamber, middle chamber and rear chamber along a roughly north–south axis, with five smaller side chambers. A post-and-lintel system is employed throughout, with cantilevered ceilings ( see China, fig. ). This type of plan is common among late Han tombs discovered in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces. The tomb at Yi’nan is unusual, however, in that its stone columns and beams were carved to resemble the ornamented brackets and other features of wooden architecture. Since the tomb had been plundered, it yielded no artefacts of consequence....

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