|This tile end dates to the Warring States period and was found in the area of the Qin State, in what is now central China. The Qin State eventually conquered all of the other states of the Warring States Period to establish a new, and some consider the first real, Chinese dynasty. Influences from the west were stronger in the Qin areas simply because of location. They were much more likely to be exposed to cultures from the south (what is now Yunnan) and the west (what is now Xinjiang).
The early State of Qin animal tiles which follow were unearthed primarily from at dig at Feng4 Xiang2 (凤翔) near the capital of the State of Qin, Yong1cheng2 (雍城). The animals were recorded and characterized on the tiles. Each would have had a story or tale to accompany it. Most of those stories have been lost to history. The tiles not only record the story but symbolize human emotions such as love, hate, joy, and sorrow. The vivid life portrayed in the animals conveys the interest and attention the early artists brought to their work. The animals dance and run across time rather than just being simple pictures.
Contribution from Liu Yurong
Last update: September 2013
© Marilyn Shea, 2013