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The sacrificial guardians of An-yang: c.1400 BC

The largest buildings at An-yang, forming three sides of a rectangle, are protected by a ghostly phalanx.

Beneath each pillar is a kneeling human, together with a dog, sheep or ox. Beneath the door, to guard it, are four kneeling men, armed with dagger-axe and shield. In front of the building an entire company is sacrificed and laid out in battle order. First comes a single man, presumably the commander; then 150 others in formation. Behind them are five chariots, each with horses and an armed crew of three. Royal tombs, in a nearby site, are protected by a similar retinue of retainers. Normally such human victims are prisoners taken in war.

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