This photo was taken at Ling En Temple of Chang Ling. It shows a replica of the golden crown of Wanli Emperor (ca. 1600) of Ming Dynasty of China. The original piece was excavated from Ding Ling at 1960s and are on display at Ding Ling museum.
This is one of a pair of facing statues representing a functionary waiting to deliver his reports to the emperor. The reports would be in the form of vertical ideogramic script brushed onto a number of wood or ivory tablets.
The Ming and Qing imperial tombs are outstanding testimony to a cultural and architectural tradition that for over 500 years dominated this part of the world. By reason of their integration into the natural environment, they make up a unique ensemble of cultural landscapes.
From time immemorial, the rulers of China attached great importance to the building of imposing mausolea, reflecting not only the general belief in an afterlife but also an affirmation of authority. When the Ming dynasty came to power (1368), an overall design was adopted. This was characterized by the attempt to achieve great harmony between a natural site meeting certain precise selection criteria and a complex of buildings fulfilling codified functions. The natural site, a plain or broad valley, must offer the perspective of a mountain range to the north, against which the tombs would be built, with a lower elevation to the south. It must be framed on the east and west by chains of hills, and feature at least one waterway. In order to harmonize with the natural setting, a number of buildings are constructed along a main access road several kilometres in length, known as the Way of the Spirits, which may branch off into secondary Ways leading to other mausolea.
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