Wooden Pagoda

Song Dynasty, 11th century AD
Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

This Song-dynasty structure is the oldest part-wooden pagoda in China; it has an earthen core. The much larger, all-wood Yingxian Pagoda in Shanxi dates from the same period. The hexagonal Mogao pagoda is located some distance south of the modern entrance, outside of the fence that runs along the cave fronts. Its base has a design of phoenixes and dragons. The panels on the body of the pavilion display guardian statues, with very faded paintings in-between.