Items such as this one would have been placed within the tomb of the deceased. They may have been intended to perform a practical function (continuing to bear loads for their owner in the afterlife), or to serve as an acknowledgement of the deceased’s status as a trader. Perhaps he had made his wealth on the Silk Road, where camels were commonly used to carry goods through the high mountains, cold steppes, and inhospitable deserts.
Tang Dynasty Terracotta Camel
A fine Tang Dynasty two-humped Bactrian camel featuring a hollow-moulded figure made from a pale orange terracotta with light brown slip. Standing on an openwork base, the camel is depicted on all four legs, with the neck arched in a typical stance.
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Very fine condition generally; a few patches of slip now eroded, exposing the lighter clay below and other minor imperfections; with light earthy deposits.