Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder


Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

14 in x 5 1/16 in x 3 1/4 in (35.56 cm x 12.86 cm x 8.25 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of John Schloss

Subject matter
An earthenware straw-colored glazed mingqi  (明器), or "bright object", figure of a military official of the Sui dynasty (581-617).

The presence of a military official within the tomb would offer protection to the deceased as well as indicate their wealth and high status.  It would have been part of a larger set of figures that could have included civil officials, guardian figures, horses  and grooms, camels and riders, generally all in pairs.

Since the Qin dynasty (221 - 206 BCE), ceramic figures have been used to replace human sacrifice in burial practices as a way to provide for the deceased.  The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects.

Physical Description
An earthenware standing figure of a military official or warrior, wearing armor that includes a helmet, elbow-length gauntlets, a cuirass with plaques, and taces, worn over a long tunic, loose pants, and boots.  The arm is raised to hold a weapon. The top half is covered in a straw-colored glaze.  One of a pair with 1997/2.25.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
funerary sculpture

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
ceramic (material)
figures (representations)
grave goods
military officers

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted