Author: Li Yinde
With additional essays by Wang Zijin, Colin Mackenzie, and Gen Di
Edited by Willow Weilan Hai
In 201 BCE, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty knighted his younger brother as the first king of the Chu Kingdom, which was centered in Peng Cheng, today’s Xuzhou, in northern Jiangsu Province. Ruling under the emperor’s protection, and given special exemption from imperial taxes, elites in this Kingdom enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Twelve generations of kings lived, died, and were buried in sumptuous tombs carved into the nearby rocky hills. Although many of the tombs were looted over the years, numerous treasures were discovered in later excavations testifying to the Chu kings’ affluence as well as their beliefs in immortality and the afterlife. One of the most stunning finds was an elaborate jade burial suit, assembled from thousands of pieces of jade, the precious stone adored by the Chinese since the Neolithic period as an auspicious material that could ensure immortality. The catalogue of Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou explores the excavation sites of the Chu Kingdom mausoleums as well as Han Dynasty rituals and practices for preparing for the afterlife.
Exhibition catalogue, 2017. Paperback, 212 pages. ISBN: 978-7-5580-1988-3View Item