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Pottery Ware Unearthed in the Mogao Grottoes
Author:by Lou Jie, Liang Xushu, and Huang Yuanwei Published:2014.3.24 Views:

While the 492 extant caves in the Southern Area of the Mogao Grottoes served the public, the more than 200 caves in the Northern Area were living quarters, meditation cells, and burial chambers for the monks. The northern caves, which were largely undecorated, yielded such mundane finds as bowls, oil lamps, and coins (see no. 26),among more significant finds, such as the broad range of document fragments (see nos. 5 & 6 above). Some color mixing bowls used by artisans were also found in the Southern Area.

1.Color-mixing bowl

Tang dynasty (618-907) , Pottery; H. 3, W. 10 cm

Collection of the Dunhuang Research Academy, Z.0900

This bowl was used by artists to mix pigments for painting murals. It had been cracked and was restored with gypsum. However, some green pigment still remains.

2.Color-mixing bowl

Tang dynasty (618-907), Pottery; H. 3,W. 8 cm

Collection of the Dunhuang Research Academy, Z.1407

This bowl was used by artists for painting murals. It had been cracked and chipped and was restored with gypsum. Some red pigment remains visible.

3.Color-mixing bowl

Tang dynasty (618-907), Pottery; H. 3,W. 8 cm

Collection of the Dunhuang Research Academy, Z.1408

This bowl was used by artists for painting murals. It had been cracked and chipped and was restored with gypsum. Some yellow pigment can still be seen.

4.Oil lamp

Five Dynasties (907-960), Clay; H. 2.7,W. 7.7 cm

Collection of the Dunhuang Research Academy, Z.0832

This bowl-shaped oil lamp and the oil lamp on a stand (no. 22) were both used for illumination by the artists painting or working in the caves.

5.Oil lamp

Five Dynasties (907-960),Clay; H. 12, W. 12.5 cm

Collection of the Dunhuang Research Academy, Z.0876-3