The art of clay figure modeling in China boasts a long history that dates back to the Neolithic Age (about 4,000 to 10,000 years B.E). For instance, some pottery pigs and sheep have been discovered at the 6,000 to 7,000-year-old Hemudu site in Zhejiang Province. And the life-size terra cotta warriors and horses unearthed in 1974 from the mausoleum of the First Emperor (259-210 BC) of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) have been referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World." In fact, archaeologists have excavated a great number of pottery figurines, animals, chariots, and boats from the tombs of the following Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Naturally, the funeral custom of burying figurines and objects with the dead gave impetus to thedevelopment of clay sculpture at that time.
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