Introduction for Essay


Q1: What is Chinese Tomb art? Compare 2 bronzes from the Shang dynasty or compare 2 terracotta figures from the Qin dynasty.

Thesis statement:

Qin Shi Huang’s strict rule did not degrade the quality and variety of the figures produced, instead kept the quality and variety consistent even with mass production.




Having an afterlife is one important belief throughout the ancient Chinese history. Families didn’t want their deceased love ones to suffer in the yellow springs, they “brought along” things with them to their deathbed so that they are able to continue have them in the other world. The objects specially crafted and placed in tombs are known as tomb art. It ranges from murals, bronze vessels, jades to clay figures. One important archaeological discovery was of Fu Hao’s tomb which had jades and small statues buried together. Before the Qin dynasty, real sacrificial beings such as concubines and servants, and small figures no more than 60cm are found in the tomb. However, this all changed when Qin Shi huang started his quest of conquering, even the underworld.


Qin Shi Huang attained the throne at a young age of 13, it was said that he started building his tomb as soon as he attained his throne. Despite conquering and ruling the vast lands, he wanted to be a ruler of the universe, hence the building of his netherworld palace. The mausoleum an area of 56sq km was planned and placed in a strategic location. With protection from water in the north and mountains in the south and west, the terracotta warriors protected his only vulnerable east[1].


A comparison with two terracotta figures, the armoured general and acrobat strong men, it shows that even with the mass production of the terracotta figures, the quality of the figures has not been hindered.

[1] The first emperor. Page 124 (rough citation)

One thought on “Introduction for Essay

  1. Sujatha Meegama

    Gek, this is a good start. But, we need to do some editing.
    First of all what are yellow springs? Is it a belief that existed in the Shang dynasty?
    Do we need the sentence about Fu Hao’s tomb?

    Your current thesis statement is too broad. Your thesis statement needs to be in the form of a comparison. It has to address both similarities and differences.

    What is the plan for the paper?

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