|Sculpture from Tombs
The use of clay to make sculptures and other furnishings for tombs is one of the most distinctive aspects of Chinese ceramic history and resulted in some of China's most endearing sculptures. The Chinese belief in and desire for an afterlife that continued the pleasures and activities of the world was reflected in the use of ceramics to make models (known as spirit goods or mingqi) of attendants, entertainers, pets, domestic animals, and a host of worldly goods, all of which would be needed and used by the deceased in his or her afterlife. Tomb furnishings also reflected the wealth, status, and interests of the deceased, while equipping tombs with such items was often understood as an act of homage on the part of one's family and descendants. Although certain tomb goods were made of bronze, jade, and other materials, clay was most commonly used.