The undisturbed tomb of Li Chui who had died in AD 736, a descendant of emperor Gaozu, was excavated in Xi’an in 2001. It took a German-Chinese team six years to restore the intricate grave furnishings. For the first time, it was possible to reconstruct the opulent jewellery assemblage of a Tang period noblewoman. In conjunction with the results of scientific analyses by a team of specialists from various disciplines it was possible to obtain new insights into Tang period burial culture. This is the first time that these results are presented to a wider English-speaking public. Richly-illustrated appendices throughout the text provide further insights into Tang period everyday life.
The Lady with the Phoenix Crown
Tang-period Grave Goods of the Noblewoman Li Chui (711-736)
The Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907), China’s Golden Age, was a flourishing period teeming with fascinating cultural phenomena. At the centre of this cosmopolitan empire lay the capital city of Chang’an – one of the largest metropolises of its time and now hidden below present-day Xi’an. Aristocrats as protagonists of courtly life shaped the character of the city, their luxurious everyday life equally reflected in lavishly furnished tombs. Nowadays, most of these tombs are found robbed. Evidence of the former splendour of these subterranean chambers only survives in the form of marvellous wall paintings and clay figurines disregarded by the grave robbers.