Tomb Guardians

Northern and Southern dynasties
Shaanxi History Museum, Xi'an

These two chimeras are from the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, 420 - 589 AD. The creature on the left is seated on its rear, lion-like haunches. A row of serrated blades is set above its spine. Its head is anthropomorphic; a large, spade-shaped beard wraps around the entire length of its lower jaw. To the right stands a unicorn whose long, straight horn extends from the middle of its lowered forehead. A pair of short wings is attached to its forequarters.