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9. Mythical animal
Excavated in Luoyang, Henan Province
Eastern Han dynasty, 25 - 220 CE
height 122 cm, length 165 cm

Mythical animal

Burial grounds were approached through an avenue, a "spirit road," which was flanked by pairs of large stone figures of dignitaries, foreign envoys, and animals.

This vigorously striding animal was one of the first on the road to the tomb. It is a mythical creature, bixie, with the body of a tiger, two horns, and wings, and was meant to frighten away evil spirits.

National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing

Detail: head

Detail: body

all text & images © The Israel Museum

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