Daniel Spielberger’s

Han-styled Tomb


I want my Han styled Tomb to have two rooms. There will be the burial room with the tomb and my eating/leisure room adjacent to it. The burial room will be bigger and have a door leading to the eating/leisure room.

Burial Room Items

Funerary Banner

My funerary banner will be in the style of the Mawangdui Funerary Banner and will feature a symmetrical pattern of cupcakes, birds, turtles, unicorns and dragons on each side. Similar to the Mawangdui Funerary Banner, it will have a sun with a bird on the top right side and a moon with a frog on the left side. In between the sun and moon, just like how there was a female goddess in the Mawangdui Funerary Banner, there is a Star of David to represent my own personal religious belief. My funerary banner will honor my own idea of the ambiguities of the afterlife. In his analysis of the Mawangdui tomb, Wu Hung states, “this banner thus symbolized the otherworldly existence of the dead.” Wu Hung also discusses how the banner was used by the deceased’s loved ones as a method of identifying the body. I personally view the afterlife as a mix of the fantasy and of religious awakening. Hence, my funerary banner has my religion and species that I view as a fantastic or otherworldly. Although in the context of a funerary banner, the cupcakes might seem silly, this part of the banner would be for my loved ones to identify this banner as distinctly mine since they would know that my favorite baked good is cupcakes.

“Replica” of Slippers

This piece relates to Mu Chou-Poo’s theory of objects in Han tombs being surrogates for items of everyday life. These slippers are an example of “mingqi” because they are a replica of my everyday slippers and will only be used in a hypothetical other life.


This is an example of what Xunzi referred to as “shengqi”, an object of everyday use that is placed in the tomb. These two novels in the forms of scrolls are books that I have reread frequently and in the context of my tomb, suggest that I plan on rereading during my afterlife.

Leisure Room Items

Figurines of Five Friends

These figurines are a method of my friends “sacrificing” themselves for me. They function as spiritual vessels that are supposed to encapsulate the essences of my close friends. There is no realistic way of all of my friends coming with me to the afterlife, so by placing surrogates in my tomb, they will symbolically be there with me and I will also never forget them when I move onto the next world. They are placed in the “leisure room” because they friendships shouldn’t be part of my personal/spiritual space.

Monopoly Dice

In regards to dealing with the dead, Kongzi wrote, “if we treat them as if they were entirely dead, that would show want of humanity, and should not be done; or, if we treat them as if they are entirely alive, that would show want of wisdom, and should not be done.” These dice are from Monopoly, my favorite board game. However, the actual board game won’t be in my leisure room because if it were there, there would be an assumption that I was physically “alive.” Just how Kongzi suggested that people place everyday objects that lack some part that make it functional, the Monopoly dice are present in the tomb without the actual board game.