Emblème en forme d'oiseau
Entre 50 et 400
Etendard - Enseigne (archéologie)
H. 9.6 x L. 15.5 x l. 5.5 cm
L.T. Sep. 4
Don fouilles, Mission Janse Indochine (1934-1935)
Found in a brick tomb that is divided into three spaces, this emblem in the shape of a bird with finely carved plumage was placed in the central chamber by the body of the deceased, with the room at the back containing offerings of food, and the antechamber the funerary altar. This type of bird, originally mounted on a wooden shaft inserted into a socket, is to be found in certain graves in south-western China dating from between the Warring States period and the Han era. Crafted with care, its meaning remains a mystery: was it the emblem of a clan, or an insignia of office? The bird is a common theme in the decoration of highly symbolic objects in the Đông Sơn culture, however. While the style here is completely different – having shifted from extreme stylisation to a meticulous naturalism, a sign that the civilisation of northern Vietnam had undergone a profound change – perhaps the memory of former beliefs endured through certain symbols whose importance had not waned.