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Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes
05/11/2008 22:27:24    Author : ANDY    Browse : 806

It is situated 25km southeast of Dunhuang city on cliffs in the eastern Echoing-Sand Mountains. It is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, the caves contain Buddhist sculpture and frescoes from ten dynasties ending with the Tang. Tang Dynasty is the heyday of Dunhuang Mogao Buddhist art. After this period, the local economy around Dunhuang declined and the production of Buddhist art lessened dramatically. Despite the ravages of time, the winds and sand, 492 caves are still in existence. These caves contain thousands of square meters of frescoes, created with layers of cement and clay and then painted. The various dynasties each feature different styles and themes, and the content of the frescoes is diversified, although themes typically revolve around Buddha images. The Mogao Buddhist sculptures were generally constructed with terracotta and then covered with a carvable plaster surface that is painted after being carved. Cave number 17 is particularly famous for its hoard of Buddhist scriptures and artwork.

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