by Davin Luce
edited by Tiffany Dai
The Famen pagoda, hereafter Famensi, (fig. 1) which is located in current day Fufeng, Shaanxi province, has ties stretching back to the Indian king and devout Buddhist, Asoka (r. 273-232 BCE). According to tradition, it was Asoka who initiated the construction of the first pagoda on the site.[i] In 1981, the structure partially collapsed following an earthquake and heavy rains. While undoubtedly a devastating loss of a cultural monument[ii], this incident gave archeologists the chance to excavate the site beginning in 1987. What they uncovered was remarkable: a multi-chambered tomb-like structure dating back to the early Tang dynasty (618-907 CE) (fig. 2). Even more remarkable than the discovery of the underground structure was the rich deposit within, which consisted of various objects fashioned out of precious materials. For the purposes of this paper, I will focus on one aspect of the deposit: the four reliquaries (container or receptacle) and the finger-bone relics within. Relics are the sacred physical remains of a holy person which are objects of veneration.[iii] As such, the treatment of such objects or artefacts deserves special attention.
This paper aims to explore how the relic deposit was created and conceptualized during the duration of the Tang dynasty. While many scholars rightfully compare the Famensi crypt to contemporaneous tomb spaces, I will argue that the crypt space is inherently different than a tomb space. Tomb spaces are static entities – once they are sealed, they are not to be reopened. In contrast, the Famensi crypt space was dynamic – a space in flux. To parse out this sense of dynamism in the crypt space, I will undertake a short description of each reliquary followed by a genealogical history of the site to argue that the objects interred within the crypt were created at different times during the Tang dynasty and that the reliquaries were intermixed over time. Like the spatial aspect, I will suggest that the material symbolism of the reliquaries evolved over the Tang period which is reflected in the final placement of the reliquaries in the Famensi crypt. Thus, it is through a holistic approach to the relic deposit by which I will argue that the crypt space and the material symbolism of the reliquaries were highly dynamic.
As demonstrated by an elevation drawing (1990)[iv], the Famensi crypt (fig. 3) consisted of three chambers and a secret niche under the rear chamber, each of which contained a relic deposit. Interred in the front chamber was a polychromed marble Asoka stupa (fig. 4) which contained a bronze miniature pagoda (fig. 5), a silver casket-shaped reliquary (fig. 6) with gilded gold decoration and a finger-bone relic made from an unidentified type of bone (fig. 7). The second chamber consisted of a large marble polychrome lingzhang or spirit canopy[v] (fig. 8), with an iron box or casket inside which contained a silver coffin-shaped reliquary (fig. 9) similar to the one found in the first chamber, and a finger-bone relic made from jade (fig. 10). The rear-chamber contained a set of eight nested boxes (fig. 11). From the outside inward, this reliquary consisted of a sandalwood box, a silver and gilt-silver box with decoration, a plain silver box, and another silver and gilt-silver box with decoration. Next was a pure gold box, a second gold box adorned with precious stones and pearls, followed by an alabaster box similarly adorned with precious stones and pearls, and finally a gold miniature pagoda. Inside the miniature pagoda was a white jade finger-bone relic (fig. 12) with the northern dipper etched inside the hollow of the bone. The final reliquary was found under the rear chamber in a hidden niche. This nested reliquary set consisted of five containers (fig. 13): an outer iron box, a gilt-silver casket, a sandalwood box (now in fragments), a crystal sarcophagus with sapphire and topaz gemstones adorning the lid (fig. 14), a jade coffer (fig. 15), and a finger-bone relic created from bone (fig. 16).
Scholars often compare Famensi with a tomb space, as the nested nature of the reliquaries, coffin-shaped containers, and the spatial layout of the crypt is reminiscent of traditional, secular vertical pit tomb burials. Through a tri-partite comparison with the Mawangdui Tomb no. 1, the Qingshanshi relic crypt and the Royal Tombs of Princess Yongtai, Price Zhang Huai, Prince Yide I will demonstrate that while similarities exist between Famensi and tomb spaces, Famensi is both unique to underground relic deposits and ontologically different than a tomb space. The Mawangdui Tomb no. 1 of Lady Dai (d. after 168 BCE) (fig. 17) was one of three tombs on the site in modern day Changsha, Hunan Province. Lady Dai’s guo, a structure inside the grave which held the caskets and grave goods,[vi] contained four nested coffins. The first coffin was called a jiu – the body in its permanent home – and thus should be considered to be an extension of the body.[vii] Art historian Wu Hung suggests that the other three coffins, or guan, defined “a number of realms for the deceased woman.”[viii] Similarly, in Famensi, this practice of nesting can be seen in the crystal and jade coffins in the secret niche, as well as the eightfold reliquary set in the rear chamber.
As archeologist Gao Jixi points out, pre-Tang relic deposits generally followed the vertical pit burial structure where the relic was placed in a stone box. However, after the Early Tang (618-713), the relic deposits tended to be “horizontal aligned sequences of rooms that resemble contemporaneous tombs in their spatial layout.”[ix] Historian and Buddhologist Helmut Brinker’s discussion of the Qingshansi crypt (dated 741) in Lintong County, Shaanxi province is useful to understand how relic crypts mirrored tomb structures. Qingshansi makes a productive comparison case as it was constructed roughly contemporaneous to Famensi and the two are geographically close to one another. The Qingshansi crypt follows the south-north axial sequence of royal tombs and palace architecture. The reliquary chamber was accessed by a sloped corridor which led to an antechamber, where an inscribed stele was found. This corresponded to the epitaph tablet (muzhiming) of the deceased in a tomb space. Furthermore, the relic was placed in the rear chamber – the farthest point from the entrance – which in a tomb space was reserved for the body of the deceased.[x] Famensi crypt was constructed in a similar manner: it follows the axial principles, is accessed by a sloping corridor, and has two stone tablets at the entrance to the first chamber. These tablets, which mirror the muzhiming, provide a historical record and inventory for the deposit.[xi] The major difference between Qingshansi and Famensi, then, is that Famensi had four relics in successive chambers. Thus, it did not necessarily follow Helmut Brinker’s suggestion that in “a Chinese pagoda the śarīra [relic] were usually enshrined in a chamber centrally sited in the foundation, in the shishi or ‘stone chamber.’”[xii]
Art historian Roderick Whitfield points to the similarities of the Famensi crypt to the royal tombs of Princess Yongtai, Prince Zhang Huai and Prince Yide, all of which are datable to 706.[xiii] Prince Yide’s multi-chambered tomb with a sloped corridor (fig. 18) includes a rear chamber directly below the center of the tumulus (burial mound) above ground. Similarly, at Famensi, the rear chamber is located directly below the center of the pagoda (fig. 19).[xiv] Curator and art historian Alan Chong notes, however, that Famensi and typical Tang tombs do have several differences; Famensi is significantly smaller than royal tombs and is not furnished with mural paintings,[xv] which were often symbolic representations for the deceased to inhabit. Perhaps the most staggering difference is that a tomb is meant to remain sealed in perpetuity, whereas Famensi was opened six times after the construction of the crypt. While there is clearly a shared logic in the imagining and conceptualization of the crypt as tomb, especially through nested reliquaries and the structure of the crypt, the two are inherently different. The borrowing of funerary practices and tomb structure may have aided the understanding of such spaces, but the two had different ontological statuses. I argue that it is this very difference in ontology that allowed for the dynamic spatiality and evolving material symbolism which the crypt demonstrates.
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND DYNAMIC SPATIALITY
To explain dynamic spatiality and evolving material symbolism, the history of the site is crucial. As pointed out in the introduction, tradition has it that relics had been at the site of Famensi since the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE). However, the earliest textual records of a pagoda on the site dates to the Western Wei dynasty (535-56 CE). According to Robert Sharf, a stele inscription found in the pagoda suggests that the site was restored during the Western Wei when “magistrate Tuoba Yu opened the derelict pagoda, made offerings to the relic, and oversaw the restoration of the site.”[xvi] This one of the first, if not the first, recorded offering to the relic. The pagoda suffered damage during a Buddhist persecution in the 570s and was rebuilt under Emperor Sui Wendi (r. 581-604),[xvii] during a “[n]ationwide relic enshrinement during Renshou era (601-04).”[xviii] Art historian Eugene Y. Wang points out, however, that following the Renshou rebuild the pagoda again fell into disrepair.
In 631, during the reign of Emperor Taizong (r. 626-649), a devout Buddhist layman was granted permission to build a new pagoda on the site and perform an excavation where he found buried relic(s).[xix] Whereas Robert Sharf suggests that Emperor Taizong is credited with the construction of the structure of the crypt,[xx] Gao Jixi refutes this claim through a rather pragmatic and compelling approach of a genealogical timeline of the seven re-enshrinements. During the reign of Emperor Gaozong (r. 649-683) the relic was once again unearthed. Buddhist priest, Daoxuan, who was at the 659 relic celebrations noted ‘“How could it be contained in such a narrow and debased stone mortar.”’[xxi] According to Gao, this suggests that in 631 the relic was “deposited in a stone box of the old type and was not accompanied by many offerings.”[xxii] As such, Gao argues that the construction of the crypt was a product of Gaozong’s reign, more specifically the period between 659-662.
First off, the Tang dynasty pagoda was built on the site in 662 and as Gao suggests, the crypt is too large to have been constructed under an existing pagoda structure.[xxiii] As we have seen, according to textual evidence in 631, the relic was enshrined in a stone box ‘of the old type.’ Furthermore, no textual evidence prior to 662 refers to the space as shishi or stone chamber. As Gao notes, shi normally referred to a “chamber or room large enough for a human to inhabit.”[xxiv] Rather than shishi, historical texts before 662 “often used other terms such as taxia (‘under the pagoda’), lingzhi (‘Saint’s toe’ or ‘numinous place’), or taji (‘pagoda foundation’) when referring to the burying place of Buddha relics.”[xxv] As such, this suggests that no multi-chambered underground crypt existed before 662. Gao also points out that the 760 and 790 “relic-worshipping events…were only two months long each,” not providing enough time to construct the crypt.[xxvi] Lastly, Gao suggests that the 704 and 790 events may have seen some repair work, but there is no evidence that a new pagoda or crypt was constructed.[xxvii] The dating of the construction of the crypt will aid not only the understanding of the evolution of the relic deposit, but also will inform the material symbolism discussed in the second part of this paper.
The period between 659 and 662 is also interesting because as Eugene Wang notes, this was the first time that the relic(s) had “tangible qualities beyond their usual elusive ‘auspicious’ luminance. They were seven small relics and one large relic.”[xxviii] Wang takes this larger relic to be the finger bone of the Buddha. As most scholars note, Empress Wu Zetian (624-705) was likely the innovator in both the crypt layout (which mirror multi-chambered tomb burials) and the use of nested caskets for the finger-bone relic(s).[xxix] Gao Jixi and Eugene Wang both suggest that Empress Wu commissioned nested gold and gilt-silver caskets made for the finger-bone relic.[xxx] Wang posits, however, that a set of nine nested coffins were created for the 662 re-enshrinement at the behest of Wu, but does not specify any further.[xxxi] As I will discuss shortly, the eightfold set of nested caskets in the rear chamber were created during the ninth century, so these cannot be what Wang is referring to. Perhaps the original gold and gilt-silver coffins created for Wu were lost during the persecution of Buddhists during the reign of Emperor Wuzong (r. 840-46).
In a 1990 article, Roderick Whitfield postulated that the crystal and jade nested coffins in the secret niche were created during the High Tang period (713-755). In a subsequent chapter written in 2004, however, Whitfield suggests that these two coffins along with the outer iron box, were produced in the Sui or early Tang,[xxxii] and notes that crystal and jade were “in frequent use for luxury items, for the date of their manufacture.”[xxxiii] Additionally, Eugene Wang suggests that the crystal and jade coffins were created in the seventh century.[xxxiv] Considering the dates of the crystal and jade coffin, I would postulate that they were included in the first enshrinement after the creation of the crypt in 662; perhaps they were part of the original set of nine nested coffins discussed by Wang.
Roderick Whitfield hypothesizes that the rear chamber may have, at one time, had the marble Asoka stupa and bronze pagoda from the first chamber with the crystal and jade coffins placed inside because the “small proportions [of the rear chamber] would suit it almost ideally, and where it would have been sheltered by the lotus canopy with silver openwork petals.”[xxxv] Whitfield suggests that the Asoka stupa dates to the early or High Tang period. Following Whitfield, Alan Chong suggests that it could date up to two centuries prior to the final enshrinement in 874.[xxxvi] While it is impossible to know whether the Asoka stupa was at one point located in the rear chamber of Famensi, the potential suggests the movement and combination of reliquaries. Like the Asoka Stupa, the lingzhang (spirit-canopy) in the second chamber was carved out of marble and can be dated to a specific re-enshrinement event: 708. The size of the lingzhang is problematic in the timeline so far proposed. As Gao Jixi points out “the cube-shaped main body measures about 72 cm on each side; yet the doors of the underground chamber are too narrow and too low to introduce stones of such size.”[xxxvii] To make sense of this discrepancy, Gao suggests that there were alterations made to the crypt in 708; to fit the large marble block into the crypt, the ceiling was opened up and the block was lowered in.[xxxviii]
For the last enshrinement, or the 874 interment, scholars agree that the set of eight nested coffins or boxes in the rear chamber are products of the ninth century, having been produced between 871 and 874.[xxxix] Furthermore, Eugene Wang suggests that the secret niche bears the finger print, or unique impression, of the last relic translation in 874, but contained objects from earlier times (jade and crystal coffin).[xl] The production of new reliquaries, especially the eightfold set, would have necessitated moving other reliquaries. The visual and material qualities of the later additions to Famensi reflect to the development of the Tang gold and silver industry and its commercial interactions with neighbouring societies. [xli] Historian Tansen Sen points out that “during the ninth century, the Tang craftsmen could use imported luxury items such as pearls, lapis lazuli, agate, sandalwood etc.; copy foreign motifs; and produce sophisticated pieces of gold and silver objects.”[xlii] The jewel and pearl encrusted boxes of the eightfold set, the sophisticated silver and gold reliquaries and the sandalwood boxes in the rear chamber and secret niche speak to this use of imported materials in the crypt.
To create the eightfold reliquary set the makers utilized the repoussé technique, a process characterized by hammering the reverse side of a metal to create an ornamental low relief.[xliii] The effect created by repoussé metalwork is a more voluminous human figure.[xliv] The repoussé technique gained popularity from the mid-eighth century to the early-ninth centuries.[xlv] At Famensi, Roderick Whitfield points out that the workmanship of the silver casket-shaped reliquaries in the front two chambers is similar to that of the rear chamber reliquary set, and posits that these reliquaries were likely created around the same time.[xlvi] The different dates of the reliquaries found in the crypt of Famensi suggests distinct temporalities; the jade and crystal coffin likely date to the seventh century; the marble Asoka stupa and the lingzhang to the eighth century; the eightfold reliquary set and the two silver casket shaped reliquaries to the ninth century. The intermixing of these objects complicates a linear temporal narrative, and demonstrates evolving ideas surrounding material symbolism across the Tang period. Furthermore, the combination of earlier and later reliquaries suggests the relic crypt was spatially dynamic – the objects were moved around to attend to evolving ideas regarding material symbolism and material hierarchy throughout the Tang dynasty. This movement and combination constitutes what I have been referring to as dynamism.
In order to conceptualize and understand the material symbolism and hierarchy present in the reliquaries at Famensi, we need to consider how the relics function as holy objects. Robert Sharf suggests that the “meaning of the relics would seem to lie not in their material form but in how they were construed and treated by the faithful.”[xlvii] Following this notion, art historian Seunghye Lee points out that relics in themselves “carry no fixed code or sign of their meaning,” rather they are “in need of supplement to be recognized as such.”[xlviii] As such, Lee argues that reliquaries function as frames, that is, they “served to provide much needed identification for what they contained.”[xlix] Furthermore, reliquaries serve to enclose the relic, and remove it from sight of the imagined viewer. As Lee points out, the very act of concealing “signals the status of the relic as sacred objects.”[l] These reliquaries not only imbue the relics themselves with meaning, but I argue they also imbue the space they inhabit with symbolic and spiritual meaning. As such, the dynamic nature of the Famensi relic crypt suggests an evolving understanding of how the space was conceptualized and how meaning was constructed within it. If the reliquaries imbue meaning onto the relic that they envelop and the space which they inhabit, then the materiality of the cases requires further scrutiny.
Any discussion on materiality, its symbolism, and hierarchy requires a culturally specific context. As Wu Hung suggests, ‘“[m]aterial symbolism’ pertains to the value of a material… beyond its usefulness as a natural sculptural medium and implies a conscious selection of a material based on such a culturally constructed value.”[li] Inherent in the definition of material symbolism is also a material hierarchy. This is apparent in traditional funerary practices such as those at the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng (d. 113 BCE) discovered in Mancheng County, Hebei province. As Wu discusses, the meaning of each space was constructed based on the materials which made up that space and the figurines and objects which inhabited it. In the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng, wooden architectural elements and clay and bronze objects made up the main hall of the tomb. In contrast, the rear chamber which held the body was lined with stone slabs and contained the ‘jade body’ of the prince, as well as jade bi-disks and a jade figurine. This material hierarchy not only permeated the architectural space but also reflected a dualism between clay, wood, and bronze versus stone.[lii] Stone was analogous with eternity due to its material properties, while clay and wood “which are relatively fragile and vulnerable to the elements, were associated with temporal, mortal existence.”[liii] While the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng was constructed a millennium before the Famensi crypt was sealed, and thus demonstrates different ideas surrounding material symbolism, I will suggest that similar ideas about material symbolism prevailed into the Tang dynasty and beyond.
Like the tomb space of Prince Liu Sheng, the relic crypt at Famensi was predicated on a material hierarchy, where the most precious materials were closest to the relic. Helmut Brinker points out that:
By their order of proximity to the relics, the precious or elaborately decorated materials used as housing reveal their respective ranks in the hierarchy of devotional estimation and the spiritual value attached to them: glass, crystal or jade were more precious and sacred than gold, followed by brocade of silk, then silver, bronze, copper, iron, (sandal)wood, marble, and similar stones.[liv]
If we consider this hierarchy in comparison to the relic deposits at Famensi, we see that the pattern was generally followed with a few exceptions. The antechamber contained the marble Asoka stupa followed by a bronze pagoda and a silver reliquary. The middle chamber contained the marble lingzhang, an iron box and finally a silver reliquary. The eightfold set complicates this sense of material hierarchy discussed above. The general pattern laid out by Brinker is followed until we reach the gold box adorned with pearls and precious stones. This container is followed by a similarly decorated alabaster box. As a type of stone, alabaster does not seem to fit with in Brinker’s hierarchy. Roderick Whitfield points out that in the inventory stele, this container was referred to as a wufu box, which translates to five (wu) benefits or good fortune (fu).[lv] In this line of thinking, the stone was thought to bring good luck to the reliquary set. Furthermore, alabaster is an “ornamental stone consisting of a fine-grained, compact, translucent form of gypsum or calcite, typically white or tinted or clouded with yellow, red, and other colours, and suitable for carving into vases, figures, etc.”[lvi] It is soft in nature and often used for carving, which would have made it easier to construct and set stones into. Furthermore, the Chinese character 珉 (pinyin: mín) denotes “a semi-precious stone, unidentified, similar to but inferior to jade.”[lvii] Perhaps alabaster was viewed in this manner and its value was perceived as somewhere between gold and jade. While further research is needed to substantiate these claims, I would postulate that the alabaster was chosen for pragmatic reasons but also for its semi-precious nature.
The deposit in the secret crypt also digresses from the hierarchy suggested by Brinker: there was a sandalwood box inside the gilt-silver casket and outer iron box. I postulate that this can be explained due to ideas surrounding sandalwood. As art historian Michele Matteini notes, the first likeness of the Buddha, and thereafter the most authentic material to substitute for the Buddha, was sandalwood.[lviii] If we consider the finger-bone relic as the ‘true body’ (zhenshen) and not one of the three shadow bones (yinggu) as many scholar do, then perhaps this sandalwood box reflects notions surrounding Buddhist sculptures with relic caches. In these kinds of Buddhist sculptures, the relic deposit functioned to enliven and animate the sculpture.[lix] The jade and crystal coffin-shaped reliquaries, which hold the so called zhenshen, are the highest on the material hierarchy described earlier. Additionally, jade carries a long tradition of promoting immortality in Chinese funerary art. Taken together, the material symbolism of the secret niche not only references traditional Chinese funerary practices through the nested coffins, but also could indicate the immortal nature of the body of the Buddha while acting to enliven the relic deposit.
Having discussed the material symbolism and hierarchy of the four reliquaries as they were found in 1987, I will now refer to Whitfield’s suggestion that the Asoka stupa and bronze pagoda had originally held the crystal and jade coffins inside, a combination which would have followed the hierarchy set out by Brinker. While we cannot know for sure that these objects were ever placed together, the addition and combination of reliquaries in the crypt over time suggest its possibility. What this hypothesis asserts is the shifting nature and understanding of material symbolism and hierarchy over time. Whitfield’s suggested combination would not have contained any gold, silver, pearls, or sandalwood. Considering that the mastery of the gold and silver craft emerged later in the Tang along with increased trade with foreign nations, Whitfield’s suggestion is logical. As industry, trade, and craft expanded during the Tang, ideas about the value of certain materials shifted and instigated the reimaging concepts related to material symbolism and hierarchy. As such, I suggest that the culturally constructed value system, that is material symbolism, evolved over the Tang and because of this shift, the framing of the relics also evolved.
By undertaking a genealogical timeline of the Famensi site, I demonstrated that the crypt was likely constructed in 662 and that the relics underwent several re-enshrinements between 662 and 874. I suggested that the reliquaries, which range in dates between the seventh and ninth centuries, were added over time and intermixed with one another. As such, I argued that the spatiality of the Famensi crypt was highly dynamic. While the crypt space was tomb-like, I argued the two spaces were ontologically different, but that it was this very difference that allowed the crypt to be dynamic. Not only was the spatiality dynamic, so too was the material symbolism present in the crypt. As industry, trade and craftsmanship evolved over the course of the Tang dynasty, so too did the materiality of the reliquaries in the crypt. The availability of new valuable materials participated in the evolution of material symbolism during this period. In addition, it affected ideas surrounding material hierarchy. Had the crypt space been static – that is, sealed after the first enshrinement like a tomb – the crypt would not have demonstrated the development or evolution of material symbolism. Thus, the dynamic spatiality of the Famensi crypt acted to preserve a unique array of the development of Chinese culture that took place during the Tang dynasty.
Davin Luce is a fourth year Honours Art History student minoring in History. He has been an ARIA research assistant and curatorial intern at McGill’s Visual Arts Collection. His primary interest is Song dynasty Chinese Art History, specifically outside influences on Imperial collecting practices and court literati painting production. Next year, Davin will be pursuing an MA in Chinese Art History at the University of British Columbia under Dr. Julia Orell.
[i] Robert H. Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones at Famensi and the Art of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism,” The Art Bulletin 93, no. 1 (2011): 38.
[ii] The pagoda has since been rebuilt on the site.
[iii] Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), s.v. “relic.”
[iv] The drawing was reprinted in Robert H. Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones at Famensi and the Art of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism,” The Art Bulletin 93, no. 1 (2011): 39 from Zhu Qizin, “Buddhist Treasures from Famensi: A Buddhist Architectural Masterpiece Unveiled,” Orientations 21, no. 5 (1990): 77.
[v] Eugene Y. Wang, “Of the True Body: The Famen Monastery Relics and Corporeal Transformation in Tang Imperial Culture,” in Body and Face in Chinese Visual Culture, eds. Wu Hung and Katharine R. Tseng (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2005), 91.
[vi] Wu Hung, “Art in a Ritual Context: Rethinking Mawangdui,” Early China 17 (1992): 134.
[vii] Wu, “Art in a Ritual Context,” 117-121.
[viii] Wu, “Art in a Ritual Context,” 134.
[ix] Gao Jixi, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda: Its Date, Background, and Historical Significance,” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 17, no. 1 (2008): 193.
[x] Helmut Brinker, Secrets of the Sacred: Empowering Buddhist Images in Clear, in Code, and in Cache (Lawrence: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 2011), 95-97.
[xi] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” Asiatische Studien = Études Asiatiques; Bern, Etc. 44, no. 2 (January 1, 1990): 249-250.
[xii] Brinker, Secrets of the Sacred, 95.
[xiii] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” 249.
[xiv] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” 250.
[xv] Alan Chong, “Introduction: Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda, Mysteries of Famen Temple,” in Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda, ed. Eugene Y. Wang (Singapore: Asian Civilisations Museum, 2014), 17.
[xvi] Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones,” 38.
[xvii] Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones,” 38.
[xviii] Wang, “Of the True Body,” 85.
[xix] Wang, “Of the True Body,” 85.
[xx] Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones,” 39.
[xxi] Daoxuan, Ji Shenzhou sanbao gantong lu 1 (T2016, vol. 52:407) in Gao “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 205.
[xxii] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 205.
[xxiii] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 197.
[xxiv] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 208.
[xxv] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 208.
[xxvi] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 207.
[xxvii] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 207.
[xxviii] Wang, “Of the True Body,” 86.
[xxix] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 208; Wang, “Of the True Body,” 89.
[xxx] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 208; Wang, “Of the True Body,” 86.
[xxxi] Wang, “Of the True Body,” 86.
[xxxii] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” 254; Roderick Whitfield, “The Famen Monastery and Empress Wu,” in New Perspectives on China’s Past: Chinese Archaeology in the Twentieth Century, vol. 1, ed. Xiaoneng Yang (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 401-402.
[xxxiii] Whitfield, “The Famen Monastery and Empress Wu,” 402.
[xxxiv] Wang notes the crystal and jade objects were made in the 7th century. See Eugene Y. Wang, “The Emperor’s New Body,” in Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda, 97 n74.
[xxxv] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” 254.
[xxxvi] Chong, “Introduction,” 12.
[xxxvii] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 212.
[xxxviii] Gao, “The Underground Chamber of the Famensi Pagoda,” 212.
[xxxix] Wang, “Of the True Body,” 97.
[xl] In Wang’s chapter The Emperor’s New Body” in Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda, Wang says 784 as the date. Due to context and the fact that there was no relic translation in 784 (it took place in 790), I believe this is a typo and will take 874 as his intended date. See Wang, “The Emperor’s New Body,” 56.
[xli] Tansen Sen, “Relic Worship at the Famen Temple and the Buddhist World of the Tang Dynasty,” in Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda, 46-47.
[xlii] Tansen Sen, “Relic Worship at the Famen Temple,” 47.
[xliii] Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), s.v. “repoussé.”
[xliv] Seunghye Lee, “Framing and Framed: Relics, Reliquaries, and Relic Shrines in Chinese and Korean Buddhist Art from the Tenth to the Fourteenth Centuries,” Ph.D. diss., The University of Chicago, 2013, 83.
[xlv] Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski, “Metalwork in Gold and Silver During Tang and Liao Times (618–1125),” in Between Byzantium and the Steppe: Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honour of Csanád Bálint on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, eds. Ádám Bollók, Gergely Csiky and Tivadar Vida (Budapest: Institute of Archaeology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2016), 241-242.
[xlvi] Whitfield, “Esoteric Buddhist Elements in the Famensi Reliquary Deposit,” 254.
[xlvii] Sharf, “The Buddha’s Finger Bones,” 38.
[xlviii] Lee, “Framing and Framed,” 12.
[xlix] Lee, “Framing and Framed,” 12.
[l] Lee, “Framing and Framed,” 13.
[li] Wu Hung, “On Tomb Figurines: The Beginning of a Visual Tradition,” in Body and Face in Chinese Visual Culture, 29.
[lii] Wu, “On Tomb Figurines,” 30-31.
[liii] Wu, “On Tomb Figurines,” 31.
[liv] Brinker, Secrets of the Sacred, 93.
[lv] Axel Schuessler and Bernard Karlgren, “fu” in Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese: A Companion to Grammata Serica Recensa (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009), 242.
[lvi] Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), s.v. “Alabaster.”
[lvii] . Paul W. Kroll et al, “mín,” in A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 308.
[lviii] Michele Matteini, “On the ‘True Body’ of Huineng: The Matter of the Miracle,” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, no. 55–56 (2009): 51.
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