Head of a Deva


Head of a Deva

Sculpture / Tang Dynasty / China

Place excavated:Yarkhoto, China

Tang dynasty, 7th-8th century



Yarkhoto is a ruined city close to Turpan, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. It is a structure made of compacted soil, and is both the largest and the oldest ruins of its kind. Several Buddhist ruins can be found at the site.

This sculpture has furrowed brows and open eyes. Based on the clear fury on the face it is thought to be a deva, or guardian deity, of the Buddhist pantheon.

This sculpture was made with a mold. Twine and other materials were wrapped around a central stick, after which clay was added, rough at first with finer clay on top, and then molded into shape with fingers and tools. A computed tomography scan of this sculpture showed that its construction matches with traditional molding techniques, with a core made from straw and small stones mixed in clay, and finer clay used to finish the face.

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China / 塑造 / 勝木 / 中国

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