Han Dynasty Architecture - Ancient China
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Han Dynasty Architecture

Eastern Han watchtower
Eastern Han watchtower (an ancient Chinese
model, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

By the time of the Han Dynasty, about 200 BC, architects were building all kinds of different buildings including watchtowers, palaces, temples, and store-houses. Architects began to experiment with more complicated roofs, using gables and overhanging eaves. They also began to experiment with building in baked brick during the Han Dynasty - just about the same time as Roman architects were beginning to build in brick at the other end of Eurasia.

In the 200s BC, people in China learned about the new religion from India, Buddhism, and so they began to build Buddhist temples for the first time. These early Han Dynasty Buddhist temples look like Indian temples or stupas from the same time. They are wooden towers.

Three Kingdoms architecture

Bibliography and further reading about ancient Chinese architecture:

Han Dynasty History
Han Dynasty Art
Three Kingdoms Architecture
More about Chinese Architecture
Ancient China


Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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