Tomb Ceiling (detail)

Muyong Tomb, 5th century A.D.
Ji'an city, Jilin province, China

Muyong's octagonal stepped dome is painted with a great profusion of figures that belong to the Chinese and Korean heavens, including: sun and moon, constellations, flying celestials, Daoist immortals, directional animals, and Buddhist lotuses. The part of the astronomical ceiling shown here includes examples of most of these: a three-star constellation (circles connected by lines) at upper right; a flying figure at left; a central lotus surrounded by a dragon, a phoenix, and a Chinese figure on a platform; and more lotuses at the bottom. Click here to see another section of the dome with similar imagery, including a flying horse.