The Sarcophagus of Song Shaozu

May 16, 2013

Clark Art

Last summer, the Clark Art Institute held an exhibition entitled “Unearthed.” The main attraction of the exhibition was a 5th Century, Chinese sarcophagus, built for Song Shaozu. The tomb was uncovered in the northern city of Datong by workers constructing dorms at a local college. Found fully intact and built in the style of the dwellings typical for the 5th Century, the tomb is a representation of what an ancient Chinese home looked like.

Under the care of the Chinese government the tomb was excavated, packed and shipped from China, to the museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Based on the company’s history of being a family of fourth-generation masons, the museum hired Allegrone Construction, to reassemble the tomb. Joe Lewis, the company's vice president, was quoted as saying that it's definitely beyond what he'd consider a typical project.

"There's no road map except for photos of it when it was assembled in China," Lewis said. "It's difficult, but the stone masons who built it, all their cuts and joints were right on the money -- it's crazy, actually."

The museum’s exhibition is the first time the tomb has been publicly displayed.

For more information on this project read the article below: "Piecing Together the Past" by Ned Oliver, The Berkshire Eagle, June 1, 2012

More info plus video of the exhibition on the Clark Art Institute website.

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