Marble buffalos

Accession No. R014451_1、R014451_2
Period Shang Dynasty
Material Stone
Findspot Royal Tomb No. 1500 Hsi-pei-kang, Yin-xu Site
Geographic Location Hou-Chia-Chuang village, Anyang, Honan province, China
Dimension H.13.9 cm; L.28.3 cm; W.11.7 cm; H.12.8 cm; L.28.2 cm; W.12.


The pair of buffalo sculptures were discovered on the south ramp of Tomb No. 1500, along with dragons and tigers in pairs. They were arranged in an orderly fashion with the largest dragons at the front, the buffalos in the middle, and the smallest tigers at the end, and were untouched by looters. With a rectangular overall shape, the buffalos are carved in a crouching position, with their teeth gnashing. The buffalo has engraved “臣” character shaped eyes and a nose with two short, curved lines. A pair of incurving horns with simple decorations rest behind the eyes; below that sits a pair of drop shaped ears. The body of the buffalo is plain, only with vague lines drawing the shape of the limbs. A tail rests on the raising buttocks of the buffalo. Grooves portraying the legs can be seen on the bottom side of the sculpture.