Chinese Tang tomb figures

06.18.2010 - By A History of the World in 100 Objects

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This week Neil MacGregor is exploring life in the great royal courts across the world during Europe's medieval period, from the heart of Europe to Mexico and Sri Lanka. Today he is in China of the Tang Dynasty around 700 AD. He tells how the elite of the time chose to leave their mark on the world by writing or commissioning their own obituaries. He is with a curious troupe of ceramic figures that were found in the tomb of a Tang general along with a stone tablet proclaiming his achievements. The China scholar Oliver Moore explains the growing ambitions of the dynasty and journalist Anthony Howard describes the enduring power of the obituary.

Producer: Anthony Denselow

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