The Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) was the
second imperial dynasty of China and one of the
longest major dynasties in Chinese history.
In modern terms of military and political power
and cultural prestige, the Han Dynasty is currently
considered to have rivalled its almost
contemporary Roman Empire in the West.
With only minor interruptions it lasted a span of
over four centuries and was considered a golden
age in Chinese history especially in arts, politics
and technology. All subsequent Chinese
dynasties looked back to the Han period as an
inspiring model of a united empire and self-
Hollow-molded figurine of an ox with elongated
horns, standing on its four legs on a frame,
naturalistically represented, the elongated face
with defined eyes, flanked by a pair of ears, of
which one is missing.
Oxen are a common depiction in Han period
culture, as they were used for rice cultivation. The
ox was therefore the practical choice for ritual
sacrifices and temple offerings.