Exhibition Hall No. 3 of Shaanxi History Museum

No. 3 Exhibition Hall lies on the second floor of Shaanxi History Museum. This hall is divided into two units: relics of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and relics in Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911).

Relics of Tang Dynasty

(618 - 907)
Tang Dynasty is a momentous period of Chinese history as well as in Shaanxi’s history, because Chang’an (ancient name of Xi'an) was the capital of China at that time. A variety of relics from the Tang Dynasty are found in Shaanxi. China stepped into this period of unprecedented prosperity in economy, culture, military strength, and political system. Xi'an, being the capital of China at that time, witnessed the heydays of Chinese history, during which a great number of achievements were reached. Relics in Tang Dynasty are divided into four parts to give people an overall view of this dynasty.

The first part of Tang Dynasty introduces the architecture of this famous capital at that time. A tri-color, pottery quadrangle dwelling is shown independently. The quadrangle has nine houses, two pavilions and a rockery as a whole. This was the ideal structure employed in constructing houses in Tang Dynasty. Besides, you can also see the model of the Palace of Tang Dynasty.
Tri-color Pottery
Tri-color Pottery
Golden Plate
Goldern Plate in Tang Dynasty
The second part reflects the prosperous days under the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty from three aspects. Different kinds of tri-color glazed horses on display, are used to show that the stock farming developed fast. The most magnificent aspect concerns handicrafts. Silks, golden and silver articles, jade articles, tri-color glazed potteries, and copper mirrors are shown in this part. Although Tang Dynasty was the golden time for the development of making silk, other kinds of fabric such as brocade, yarn are also collected in the museum. Golden and silver articles of the Tang Dynasty are famous for their exquisite designs and techniques. Some of them combined Chinese characteristics and foreign culture. A golden bowl with lotus petals carved on is a priceless treasure. Different animal patterns are carved in each petal such as mandarin duck, parrots. Another one is a silver jar with gilt parrots on it. The pattern of flowers and parrots are integrated together naturally. Among all the handicrafts, the most celebrated articles are tri-color glazed potteries. “Tri-color” means there are three main colors on the pottery, such as yellow, green, and auburn. Tri-color glazed potteries were always buried in tombs. Tang Dynasty was also the peak time for the development of making copper mirrors. Compared to mirrors used in Han Dynasty, they had more shapes than round ones, like diamond and more patterns as well. No matter what kind of article it is, they are all exquisite. The last aspect is about the economy, and displays various coins and moulds for making coins.

The third part is about culture from three aspects: costumes, entertainment, and religious culture. The costumes and entertainment aspects are shown to the public by using figurines, while Buddhist statues are used to show the religious culture. The different figurines with different style of clothes truly reflect the living situations as well as people’s attitude towards life. You can also feel the high civilization at that time. Buddhism was very popular, so there are different kinds of Buddhist statues collected by the museum. Taoism was also attractive in Tang Dynasty and the Taoists thought people could be immortal if they took certain Chinese medicine. Thus, they spared no effort to make different kinds of medicine and used many kinds of vessels for keeping medicines. You can find many utensils for storing medicines in the museum.
Tri-color Camel Pottery
Tri-color Camel Pottery
Guard of Honor Figures
Guard of Honor Pottery Figurines
The last part is about the famous Silk Road, which was a very important channel for communications and trade with foreign countries. In this part, you can see the cultural integration at that time. A tri-color glazed pottery camel is another national treasure. The camel carries eight persons on a blanket on its back. Seven men are playing their music instruments, while a girl is singing. The small pottery shows their happy life on the deserted Silk Road.

Photos of Relics of Sui & Tang Dynasties

Relics of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties

After Tang Dynasty, Xi'an lost its place as Chinese capital. Shaanxi’s position also declined and was no longer famous and prosperous, but it remained as an important town regards national defense. Three main aspects are shown in this unit: the important county in North West China, civil life, and religious culture. Among these relics, two relics are the most attractive. The first one is a group of guard figurines, which have three hundred small pottery persons. They were discovered in the tomb of Zhu Shang (the second son of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in Ming Dynasty). All these three hundred figurines have different shapes and unique positions in the group. Another one is a pot. It is a master porcelain work from Yaozhou Kiln in Tongchuan, Shaanxi. The handle of the pot was carved into a lying phoenix and the spout was carved into a lioness with her cub. It uses the ‘principle of communicating vessels’ in the design. The water was poured into the pot from the bottom instead of lid. When the filled pot is righted, no water leaks out.

Religions developed fast and prosperously in Song Dynasty. You can still see a great number of Buddhist statues in the museum. In addition to Buddhism, other branches of religion developed from Song Dynasty. Many religious building were constructed at that time such as the Great Mosque and church in Xi'an. 

Photos of Relics of Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing Dynasties

Go to the Exhibition Hall for Treasures of Great Tang Dynasty

- Last modified on Apr. 12, 2021 -
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