green tower in two parts; top with archer in each corner; base=moat in bowl with fish and frogs; swans on rim

Military Watchtower, 1st century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G215expand_more

The multi-storied manor houses and watchtowers of Han towered above the countryside. Some lords built watchtowers and hired private armies to protect their property. This tower is built over a pond as indicated by the fish, frogs and aquatic fowl in the round basin-like base. The corners of the balcony show soldiers with crossbows. Though invented during Warring States period (481-221 b.c.), crossbows were perfected during Han. Central to military control, the powerful weapon gave the Han an advantage against all enemies. In fact, the crossbow was a state secret protected by the death penalty.

Details
Title
Military Watchtower
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.69a,b
Curator Approved

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green tower in two parts; top with archer in each corner; base=moat in bowl with fish and frogs; swans on rim