Watchtower

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  • Topic: Han Dynasty, Crossbow, Tower
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  • Published : April 1, 2013
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Watchtower with Four Archers
Notes by Olga Kazakova
Overview of the whole piece:
Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD)
“Ceramic models of houses and farm structures were commonly included in Eastern Han Burials. Made to provide for the afterlife, these objects preserve a vivid picture of rural activity.
Pigsties and animal pens surround the four essential elements in Han settlement: a house with an interior courtyard, a granary, a stove, and a well. Multistoried buildings saved as watchtowers that protected the larger estate, the three basic types, all represented here, were the open tower with a moat, the solid walls storehouse, and the pavilion with a forecourt.” –MET, NYC The full set includes:

Three watchtowers(we’re focusing on the one to the left, in a bowl) House with a courtyard
Granary tower
A large stove
A mill
A wellhead with a bucket
Domesticated animal pens
A square duck pond with rails
“In the Han Dynasty, burial objects reflecting family wealth were quite common, such as majestic towers, pavilions and courtyards, guards, servants, wells, barns, kitchen ranges, mills, carriages, boats, chickens and dogs etc. Most of these burial objects were lifelike.” Questions/focus for Presentation:

Brief explanation of the set purpose of the whole set of these sculptures. Military Watchtower. The bottom of the base represents the moat that would have surrounded it. It's raised up on tall stilt-like legs.

Describe and identify each detail/design on watchtower, the more the better. Crossbow Archers: “The crossbow was one of the many inventions of the Han Dynasty. This is an incredibly important military weapon. It's stronger and more powerful than the longbow—the hand-bow. It could be pre-cocked in a manner that one could release it just by pulling a trigger—the equivalent of shooting a gun. So from horseback, one had greater control. The penetrating power of the crossbow was also incredible and could pierce many, many forms of armor....
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