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Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture

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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greco-Roman vs. Han Chinese Extant Architecture
    Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 02:05
Apparently, the Chinese weren't the only one's in the East to build brick and stone arch vaults and arched domes. The ancient Koreans were avid tomb builders themselves. For example, the Tomb of King Muryeong, who ruled the southeastern Korean Kingdom of Baekje from 501 to 523 AD, has many arches and arched vaults to be found in the brick-laded architecture before 600 AD.
 
King Muryeong's tomb, Songsan Ri, Buyeo, South Korea, early 6th century
 
 
 
Coming back to the Chinese, brick arch architecture persisted after the Eastern Han Dynasty (23 - 220 AD). This next picture is of a Western Jin Dynasty tomb (256 - 317 AD) in Gansu Province, although you can only see the left side of the arch as it bricks rise to form it...
 
 
Compare these and the Han Dynasty domes to the arched vaults and inner-domes of the Qianling Tomb of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD): 
 
 
The tomb tunnel of the Tomb of Crown Prince Yide
 
^Tomb of Crown Prince Yide
 
The Qianling Tombs sight of the 7th century AD is quite impressive, especially with Gaozu's 61 Kings Stone Statues and the General Guardian Statues of the 7th century:
 
61 Kings stone figures of foreigners who came to the Chinese court in the 7th century for Tang Gaozong's funeral in the Qianling Tombs
Guardian generals with very large heads, wear long-sleeved robes and hold the hilts of long swords, Qianling Tombs.
 
...the awesome 7th century painted murals of the Qianling Tombs:
 
Tomb of Crown Prince Yide is one of the satellite tombs of Qianling Tomb.
 
And the Ming Dynasty tombs and above ground pavilions near Beijing:
 
 
 
This next pic is of the 5th century "Tomb of the General" in Jian, former capital of the Korean Goguryeo Kingdom. Traditional Chinese claimed it was the tomb of King Jangsu (413 - 491 AD) and his escort, although modern Korean scholars rebuke this, citing that Goguryeo's capital city was shifted to Pyeongyang in 427 AD, and where they are certain Jangsu is actually buried.
 
 
On later tombs before the Ming Period, here's the tomb of Emperor Wang Jian (847-918 AD) below, who ruled the former Shu Kingdom in the 5 Dynasties and 10 Kingdoms Period. It is noteworthy that under the mound of the mausoleum are foundations built of rectangular stone slabs, which served well to preserve the mound. This form of construction was not common in mausoleums of the Qin, Han, Tang and Song dynasties which preceded and followed this period, but it developed into tall baocheng, i.e., mounds surrounded by high, castle-like walls of imperial mausoleums in the much later Ming and Qing dynasties.
 
Wang Jian's underground palace is different from that of the mausoleums of the north in that it is not buried deep underground but only slightly underground with the bulk buried inside the mound above ground. Composed of fourteen sections of double stone arches, the Underground Palace is divided into Front, Middle and Back Chambers separated by wooden doors and measuring a total length of 23.4 meters. The Front Chamber corresponds in other tombs to the passage leading to the coffin chamber. In the second section, separated from other sections by double stone arches, are remnants of elegant colored paintings in patterns of bunches of lotus sprigs, typical ancient Chinese decoration. Gilded brass knockers of animals faces with tings in their mouths and gilded knobs on the vermilion gates are all original.
 
 
Here's an interesting looking brick-laden pit of a tomb in Luoyang, dated to the Song Dynasty. 
 
 
 
And just for fun, here's another one of those representative clay models from an Eastern Han period tomb, showing an intricate multistory noble's house. Apparently displaying a model of one's house was a popular funerary trend during the Eastern Han Dynasty, which explains why they were absent during the Western Han Dynasty.
 
photophoto
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Here's another Eastern Han Dynasty green-glazed white earthenware model, only this time of a funerary granary house. This one shows a representation of metal-bolted sidings to the frame of the door.
 
photophoto
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A porcelain pagoda, Luoyang Ancient Tomb Museum.
 
 
 
Hope you find these suitable, Gun Powder Ma
 
Eric
 


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 04:28
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 04:59
Gun Powder Ma,
 
I find Chinese architecture more exquisite.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 05:14
 
 
Nice Eric.
 


Edited by Hellios - 14-Oct-2006 at 05:16
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 10:46
Originally posted by flyingzone

 
Maybe there is immense aesthetical potential for a particular culture or cultures, but there is no universal aesthetic standard for all the cultures in the world. What appeals to one may not appeal to another. This is actually the point that I have been trying to make repeatedly here....Beware of ethnocentrism, Gun.


Actually, I have been talking very little about aesthetics (a subjective criteria), but about constructional, structural and architectural methods which are more open to objective analysis. I thought this to be self-evident...Beware of becoming patronising.







Edited by Gun Powder Ma - 14-Oct-2006 at 10:49
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 10:52
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Carros e cavalos
 
Notice the brick-constructed bridge in the center where the Han procession of troops and chariots are riding over.


Looks like a brick pillar bridge with wooden planks substituting the arches.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 11:05
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

 A nice topic, though the guy who started this thread might not really be interesting in architectures, but concentrate on downplaying any aspects that the Chinese have achieved.


There is not much to downplay because there is not much pre-600 Chinese architecture to start with. Which was my point all along the way. And throwing unsubstantiated suspicions at me will only make serve to make you and your point look weaker.

 
 
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

But if the conclusion that they are superior to Han China's which  based on these pics is nothing but nonsense.

Actually, I said nowhere that x is superior to y, but the fact that now numerous Han supporters have voiced exactly that conclusion tell us that the pics really must have hit home. I do not say anything like that - in fact my conclusion is still pending - it's the pictorial evidence which does.


Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

  The ordinery Chinese architectures may not higher due to its materials, but they were equal intricate and complex to those Roman's if not more.


Now, this is what I like. First objecting to any imaginary 'superiority claim 'and then doing the thing yourself. Is this a double standard or is this a double standard?
 
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 11:39
Preo,

thanks for the pics. Good job. I will note for our relevant time span: Small scale brick arches and barrel vaults in Easten Han tomb architecture. Also small scale dome(s). Rather crude workings, restricted to tombs as far as we know.

I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 12:57
"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 13:19
Originally posted by Gun Powder Ma

Preo,
thanks for the pics. Good job. I will note for our relevant time span: Small scale brick arches and barrel vaults in Easten Han tomb architecture. Also small scale dome(s). Rather crude workings, restricted to tombs as far as we know.
 
No problem Ma. However, from the Eastern Han stone tomb rubbing you replied to, that's also evidence that structures above ground were built with brick as well, before 600 AD.
 
I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes.
 
Wow dude, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, none of us are actually experts or authorities in the field of ancient Chinese architecture, let alone existent architecture after 600 AD. As far as I know, the Chinese only adopted the Buddhist stupa from India during the Han period, nothing further when it came to architecture. Of course, the Indian stupa developed into the mature, unique Chinese pagoda over time. However, from the glazed earthenware models of multistory homes (rich or commoner) and towering, terraced watchtowers, building tall (perishable wooden and curved, ceramic-tile roof shingle) architecture predated the development of the pagoda, which in itself was largely converted to stone and brick by the 7th century. In terms of monument building, others on here have already posted the pics of the tall rammed-earth walls from the Qin-Han period, but as far as I have seen, I'm the only one who's posted a pic of a pyramidal tumulus from China before 600 AD, which there were a good amount of.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 14:27
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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 14:35
Originally posted by Qin Dynasty

  The ordinery Chinese architectures may not higher due to its materials, but they were equal intricate and complex to those Roman's if not more.


Now, this is what I like. First objecting to any imaginary 'superiority claim 'and then doing the thing yourself. Is this a double standard or is this a double standard?
 
 
Yeah, that is just SO much worse than saying "Chinese cities lack the aura, appeal, etc... compared to civilization x" and how "crude" they are flatout.


Edited by Omnipotence - 14-Oct-2006 at 14:37
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 15:59
Originally posted by Kids

"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.


Your reasons?

Arches and vaults were much earlier known and used in the Middle East than in China, hence they were prior to Chinese arches and vaults. This makes them according to the diffusionist logic of Joseph Needham a most clear case of adoption by the Chinese. Probably along the silk road along with much else.

Or does his logic only apply to cases where Chinese are the givers...?
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:02
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

....multistory homes (rich or commoner)...


What multistory? All you have been posting yet were pics of two story homes. At most.

Three and more stories only had the watchtowers.
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:07
Originally posted by Gun Powder Ma

Originally posted by Kids

"I wonder whether the arch was imported from the Middle East after the opening of the silk road? Probably yes."
 
Probably not.


Your reasons?

Arches and vaults were much earlier known and used in the Middle East than in China, hence they were prior to Chinese arches and vaults. This makes them according to the diffusionist logic of Joseph Needham a most clear case of adoption by the Chinese. Probably along the silk road along with much else.

Or does his logic only apply to cases where Chinese are the givers...?
 
Yes, Needham does claim this a lot, but not about a trade and reciprocity in architectural styles from one civilization to the next. Joseph Needham points out possibilities of diffusion of technological items that can be easily accessible to other societies by reciprocity in common trade. The Chinese borrowed the idea of the stupa because of religious purposes: they were interested in creating Buddhist temples (with their own Chinese flavor, of course), since Emperor Ming of the Eastern Han sponsored Buddhism at the capital and caused its spread throughout the empire. Arches and domes, as far as I know, don't have much of an emphasized place of importance in original Indian/Central Asian Buddhist architecture. If they do however, I would like to see it beyond the idea of the stupa.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 16:19
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:08
PS: So far, true arches, but only semi-circle ones (apart from Zhaozhou right at the end of our time period). No segmental, lintel, horseshoe, pointed arches so far.
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:12
Originally posted by Preobrazhenskoe

Yes, Needham does claim this a lot, but not about a trade and reciprocity in architectural styles from one civilization to the next.


Why should foreign borrowing stop short of architecture? This is not plausible at all. Actually, there are convincing reasons that the Greeks themselves adopted the concept of the arch and vault from the east. So how could an idea travel only west, but not east?


Edited by Gun Powder Ma - 14-Oct-2006 at 16:13
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 16:27

I never said anything about the ancient Greeks, and I never personally said that the architectural style of arches could travel west, but not east. All that I'm getting at is what evidence is there to suggest the Chinese of the ancient Han Dynasty borrowed the arch design of the Middle East beyond the fact that the Silk Road established the trading of wares and Buddhist texts? It's definitely a possibility that the Chinese borrowed the arch from the Middle East like the ancient Greeks did, and this would definitely be supported by the Warring States Era tombs of China, which lack arches in their architecture.

 
Speaking of the Warring States, here's a cool pic of the lacquered outer coffin belonging to the Marquis Yi of Zeng, circa 430 BC. 
 
Pics at:
 
Zenghouyi Tomb - Outer coffin of Marquis of Yi
 
Inner Coffin:
 
 
Musical bronze bell set, complete with a bamboo strip record of its musical score chart so that the music can be replayed today!
 
 
Ritual Bronze Basin Vessel found at Yi's tomb:
 
 
Unlike tombs of the earlier Shang and Western Zhou, however, Marquis Yi's tomb of the Eastern Zhou was divided into palace like chambers as if he were to use the tomb in his afterlife, whereas before burial tombs were one enormous room underground accompanied by a stepped ramp leading to the entrance at the ground level. There is one Shang Dynasty tomb that had a separate wooden-walled sealed chamber room for the space retaining the coffin, the tomb of Lady Hao (circa 1200 BC), although separate chambers of the Shang Dynasty were not a widespread practice.
 
Royal Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BC) Tombs:
 
 
Marquis Yi's tomb of circa 430 BC:
 
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 14-Oct-2006 at 17:18
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 17:03

Bell set of Marquis Yi's Tomb

 
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:09
Review of The World's Great Bridges.Review Author: Fred Kniffen, in:
Geographical Review, Vol. 45, No. 4. (Oct., 1955), pp. 607-608 (607):

Mr. Smith properly avoids overspeculation on the earliest beginnings of bridgebuilding. Instead he passes quickly to historical fact, the widespread distribution of the three basic types of bridge construction (beam or girder, and its extension into cantilever; arch; and snspension) in both time and space, even back to primitive peoples. He shows, for example, how the widely distributed corbeled arch made of slabs extended one above the other preceded the true arch constructed of voussoirs (tapered or wedge-shaped stones). The latter seems to have stemmed from an exclusive invention of the Tigris-Euphrates area.





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  Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:17
Werent also the Egyptians in their day making use of the arch to build tombs?
 
 


Edited by arch.buff - 14-Oct-2006 at 19:18
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  Quote Gun Powder Ma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2006 at 19:39
Originally posted by arch.buff

Werent also the Egyptians in their day making use of the arch to build tombs?


Yep, I read it, I believe it, but I have yet to see a single example.


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