Scientists have found traces of bright polychrome coloring of giant statues of 1300 years ago from the Longmen complex

(ORDO NEWS) — Remains of gilding, a thin layer of silver, glaze, as well as multi-colored paints were found by Chinese archaeologists on the surfaces of giant figures from the Buddhist rock temple complex Longmen, the Academy for the Study of Longmen reported.

The cave-temple complex Longmen / Dragon Gate / is located near the center of Luoyang, Henan Province / Central China /.

In 2000, it was included by UNESCO in the Register of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Most of the monuments of the complex date back to the Tang Dynasty /618-907/.

The new discovery was made during a project to strengthen the rock at the Fengxiansi Temple, which was originally built in the second half of the 7th century, began late last year, said Shi Jiazhen, director of the academy.

According to him, the remains of precious metals were first discovered on the face of the Vairochana Buddha figure, which is 17.14 meters high.

On the rest of the surface of the statue, preserved remains of the pigment of green, red and black colors were also found. The finds testify to the presence of a bright polychrome coloring of this giant statue in the first years after the completion of work on its manufacture.

At the same time, the researchers managed to find the remains of glaze in the eye sockets of the figure of the bodhisattva Samantabhadra, which is located to the right of the statue of the Buddha Vairochana. Arcuate vitreous inserts, which include silicon dioxide and lead, are 0.5 cm thick.

The glaze is characterized by high clarity, texture uniformity and dark green luster, the researcher said.

The finds are of great importance for studying the features of decoration, relevant technologies and the history of preserving the masterpieces of ancient Chinese sculpture in the Fengxian Temple, the director of the academy believes.


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