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Ideas of Immortality and the Clay Buddha Image from Yibin, Sichuan, China

Author(s): Li Fei

Year: 2017

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In 2012, the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Archaeology excavated a group of cliff tombs in Nanxi County, Yibin; grave M12 at this site revealed a clay Buddha image. This paper argues that this is the base of an object dating between the late Eastern Han and the Shu Han period (AD 25-263) that is similar to the bases of money trees molded in the shape of a seated Buddha or Queen Mother of the West. The image thus likely developed from the image of the Queen Mother of the West as seen at the base of such objects. Even though the Buddha image from Yibin is rather different from the Buddha images seen on money trees from Sichuan, this paper argues that both images reflect a shared belief in immortal beings. The paper furthermore shows that this image shows local traits that are particular to early Buddha images from southern Sichuan.

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Ideas of Immortality and the Clay Buddha Image from Yibin, Sichuan, China. Li Fei. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430993)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15049

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America