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[reference] Han dynasty Chinese architecture


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This thread is for sharing and discussing information on architecture for the Han China civilization. While I'd like to see them included in the public mod, I think it's important they're based on reliable sources, and stark anachronisms should be avoided. (I had a quick look at the ROTE subforum, but didn't see a discussion on this specifically, hence why I'm starting a new thread.)

Before posting whatever turns up in a quick search, please verify it's actually from the Han dynasty, and not from some later period:

c. 1600–1045 BC  Shang or Yin
c. 1045–771 BC   Western Zhou
771–481/403 BC   Spring and Autumn
481/403–221 BC   Warring States
221–206 BC       Qin
202 BC–AD 9      Western or Former Han
AD 25–220        Eastern or Later Han
...
 618–907         Tang
 960–1279        Song
1271–1368        Yuan (i.e. Mongol)
1368–1644        Ming
1644–1911        Qing (i.e. Manchu)

Also, unless stated otherwise, all names are in hànyǔ pīnyīn, not in Wade-Giles or some other transcription system.

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The primary building material in ancient and classical China was wood; walls could be covered by clay, earth, loam, plaster, etc. These are not the most durable materials, therefore very little has survived to the present day. (A similar problem exists elsewhere in the world, e.g. Etruscans or the Roman Republic, but that discussion belongs elsewhere.) Rooftiles were used too, at least in urban areas (though I highly doubt they're all of the shiny blue glazed variety 0 A.D.'s Han China mod structures currently have). Stone appears to be mostly used for sculpture.

What has survived from the Han period are hundreds of tombs near the capital, some very well-preserved, including, amongst other things, texts (yay!), paintings, and terracotta miniature models of buildings. Some examples:

well:

Spoiler

File:Dinastia han, pozzo circolare, 206 ac-220 dc ca..JPG

File:Eastern Han pottery well model.JPG

File:Pottery well.JPG

File:Pottery wells, Xihan.JPG

File:Pottery well with circular base and square plinths, Eastern Han, from Chongkou, east of Yungai Shan, Wuzhou City - Hong Kong Museum of History - DSC01046.JPG

File:Model of wellhead with bucket, green glazed earthenware, Eastern Han Dynasty.JPG

File:Model well, burial find, China, Han dynasty, 206 BC to 220 AD, earthenware - Östasiatiska museet, Stockholm - DSC09578.JPG

pottery:

Spoiler

File:W Han pottery utensils.JPG

stove:

Spoiler

File:Pottery stove with figures.jpg

kitchen:

Spoiler

File:Eastern Han Pottery Kitchen.jpg

rice paddy:

Spoiler

File:Eastern Han pottery paddy field.JPG

goat/sheep pens:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Cernuschi_bergerie.JPG

File:Eastern Han Dynasty funerary sheep pen 01A.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Modell_Schafstall_%C3%B6stliche_Han-Dynastie_Museum_Rietberg.jpg

File:Tomb model of goat pen with goats (mingqi), China, Han dynasty, 206 BC - 220 AD, earthenware with green glaze - Fitchburg Art Museum - DSC08719.JPG

pig sties/toilets:

Spoiler

File:Cernuschi porcherie.JPG

File:China Schweinestall Linden-Museum.jpg
 
File:Cina sett.le, han orientali, modellino di porcile con latrina, II sec.JPG
File:Han Pottery Farm.jpg
File:Dinastia han or.le, gabinetto e porcile, 25-220 ca..JPG

mill (and bakery?):

Spoiler

File:Model of a mill, Han dynasty, earthenware with glaze, Honolulu Museum of Art.JPG

File:Pottery gristmill.JPG

File:Winnowing machine and tilt hammer.JPG

File:Han Pottery Farm Scene.jpg

granaries:

Spoiler

File:Dinastia han orientale, modellino di granaio (cang), I-II secolo dc., prob. da henan.jpg

File:Dinastia han orl.e, silo da granaglie, 25-220 ca..JPG

File:Dinastia han orientale, modellino di edificio a più piani, I-II secolo dc.jpg

houses:

Spoiler

File:Glazed pottery stilt house with carved design.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery House.jpg

File:Eastern Han pottery house.JPG

File:Pottery three-sided courtyard house.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Inner_Mongolia_Museum_Han_pottery_house.jpg

towers:

Spoiler

File:Han Pottery Tower Collection.jpg

File:Cernuschi tour et bassin terre cuite glacurée epoque han de l'est.JPG

File:Tower with archers, China, Han dynasty, 206 BC to 220 AD, glazed terracotta - Middlebury College Museum of Art - Middlebury, VT - DSC08205.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 5.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Eastern_Han_Pottery_Tower_-_3.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 9.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 8.jpg

File:Han Dynasty towered pavilion.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower -1.jpg

File:Han Tonmodell eines Wachturms Museum Rietberg.jpg

fort:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Late_Eastern_Han_pottery_castle.JPG

File:Late Eastern Han pottery castle2.JPG

manor/palace:

Spoiler

File:Han pottery manor 01.jpg

File:Han pottery manor 04.jpg

Note the bilateral symmetry (i.e. left mirrors the right).

(All images are from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Ceramics_of_the_Han_Dynasty_-_Models_of_buildings )

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And another important thing: defensive walls.

The Great Wall of China is world famous. And although parts of it were built during 0 A.D.'s timeframe, the best preserved, most visited, and most photographed sections were built by the Ming, which is not quite representative for Han China:

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Map_of_the_Great_Wall_of_China.jpg

Some ruins of Han dynasty fortications are still standing at the Yumen Pass, also called the Jade Gate, the western-most point of entry of Han China, near Dunhuang in Gansu:

Spoiler

File:Hanmuren.JPG

File:Yumenguan.jpg

File:Jade Gate entrance from the east lo-res.jpg

File:如诗玉门关.jpg

File:Summer Vacation 2007, 263, Watchtower In The Morning Light, Dunhuang, Gansu Province.jpg

In the Mediterranean, city walls were typically 2 to 6 m thick and 8 to 12 m tall (there are exceptions), with the outside stone masonry and the core filled with rubble, rocks, pebbles, broken bricks, mortar, etc. In the Near East sun-dried mud bricks or fired bricks were used.

In ancient and classical China, defensive walls were instead made from rammed earth (hāngtǔ). The upside is you don't have to obtain suitable materials from elsewhere, but the downside is that's extremely labour-intensive. (That was also one of the reasons why the under the population was subject to corvée labour under the Han, originally one in five months, later one month per year.) Due to the nature of the technique, Chinese city walls were much, much wider than those in the Mediterranean; some examples:

  • Panlongcheng (Shang): 26 m thick at base
  • Zhengzhou (Shang): 22 m thick at base
  • Sanxingdui (Shang): 40 m thick at base
  • new palace city at Linzi (Warring States): 28 to 38 m at base
  • Xi'an/Chang'an (Han): 12 to 16 m thick at base
  • Xi'an/Chang'an (Ming): 15 to 18 m thick at base, 12 m tall
  • Beijing inner city (Ming): 20 m thick at base, 12 m thick at top, 15 m tall

Moreover, while city walls in the Mediterranean were more or less vertical, Chinese walls were tapered (i.e. wider at base and narrower at top). To better illustrate the shape, a photograph and a model of Ming city walls (note though that Ming walls were covered on the outside with bricks, which was not yet the case under the Han and earlier dynasties):

Spoiler

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/Defensive_Wall_of_Prince_Qin_Mansion_03_2016-01.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Chinese_wall_model.jpg

Finally, 0 A.D.'s Han China mod walls (which clearly look nothing like the above, and thus ought to be replaced):

Spoiler

han_walls.thumb.jpg.ca1800cdccafe2f88a1e175518c7a872.jpg

 

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The main point is that e.g. Ming or Qing architecture is not representative for Qin or Han.

12 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

It would seem that the Terra Magna/ROTE Han building set is primary based on these sources already, with some artistic license of course.

As you can see a number of those have stone masonry, which is anachronistic (also for Mauryas). The rammed-earth technique was also used for creating platforms upon which buildings could be erected (e.g. temple, civic centre). Furthermore, the rooftiles are too shiny and too blue.

I'd also welcome a new fortress design, more similar to this:

13 hours ago, Nescio said:

fort:

  Hide contents

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Late_Eastern_Han_pottery_castle.JPG

File:Late Eastern Han pottery castle2.JPG

 

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Some other anachronisms in the current Han mod structures:

  • stone: barracks, civic centre, defence tower, fortress, range, temple, gate, wall tower
  • fancy flags: barracks, forge, fortress, range, gate, wall tower, wonder
  • paper lanterns: civic centre, dock, fortress, government centre
  • Chinese stone lions: civic centre, government centre
  • bagua/eight trigrams: temple
1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Do you have any rooftile references?

Here's one from the Western Zhou: http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/Xian/Shaanxi_History/pages/076_History_Museum.html

I've also found a Han carved stone depicting an ancestral worship hall (i.e. a temple):

Spoiler

File:Rubbing of a Han Citang.JPG

And the current Han wonder seems to be based on this: http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/Xian/Shaanxi_History/pages/138_History_Museum.html

Whoever made it for 0 A.D. did a great job!

I don't really like the Greek-style stone steps around, nor the flower beds on the corners. Perhaps it could get a low circular platform instead, like the one linked? @Stan`?

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2 minutes ago, Nescio said:
  • stone: barracks, civic centre, defence tower, fortress, range, temple, gate, wall tower
  • fancy flags: barracks, forge, fortress, range, gate, wall tower, wonder
  • paper lanterns: civic centre, dock, fortress, government centre
  • Chinese stone lions: civic centre, government centre
  • bagua/eight trigrams: temple

So, pretty much every eyecandy item is 'wrong.'

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8 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

So, pretty much every eyecandy item is 'wrong.'

Baskets, pottery, tools, etc. are welcome. Wooden elements painted in player colour are fine too. But elements that are well known to emerge only in much later centuries shouldn't be included, such as this Qing-style dragon flag:

Qing.png.7ea4bc62cfde446c6f3e71c251691662.png

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16 hours ago, Mr.lie said:

@Nesciorevision 122 han_china_mod breaks the actor "civil_centre" and "civil_centre_no_towers". The "construction_dust" always appears, missing the variant "alive".

It's unclear to me which revision you mean. Moreover, on my end I don't get errors. Could you update (svn up) 0 A.D., update (git pull) the Han China mod, disable all other mods, and try again?

Edited by Nescio
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The design of the current Han farmstead appears to be based on the models of the pigsty/toilet, i.e. a place to dump waste, not to store food. A design based on the granary or perhaps the mill would probably be more appropiate.

On 08/12/2020 at 8:41 PM, Nescio said:

towers:

  Reveal hidden contents

File:Han Pottery Tower Collection.jpg

File:Cernuschi tour et bassin terre cuite glacurée epoque han de l'est.JPG

File:Tower with archers, China, Han dynasty, 206 BC to 220 AD, glazed terracotta - Middlebury College Museum of Art - Middlebury, VT - DSC08205.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 5.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Eastern_Han_Pottery_Tower_-_3.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 9.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower - 8.jpg

File:Han Dynasty towered pavilion.jpg

File:Eastern Han Pottery Tower -1.jpg

File:Han Tonmodell eines Wachturms Museum Rietberg.jpg

 

It's clear the Han had a great variety of tall, free-standing towers. This is something where China differs from the Mediterranean. To reflect that, it would by nice if the Han could have (at least) three towers:

  • a two-storey tower in the village phase, costing 100 wood;
  • a three-storey tower in the town phase, costing 200 wood;
  • a four-storey tower in the city phase, costing 300 wood.

 

As pointed out earlier, having rammed-earth walls is a sine qua non. To give a better idea how I think they ought to look like in game, I made a crude drawing of cross-sections of 0 A.D. wall segments:

walls.png.e3bffb830441fd0a2677781359427bce.png

From left to right (red are proposed, blue existing walls):

  • A Chinese wall with a width at base of 20, a width at top of 12, and a height of 15; because its massive size dwarfs the walls of other civs, it's probably better to reserve this for the city phase.
  • A Chinese wall with a width at the base of 15.333, a width at top of 8, and a height of 10; this has a similar height to the city walls of other civs, and is therefore suitable for the town phase.
  • A Chinese wall with a width at the base of 6.667, a width at the top of 4, and a height of 5; a small version for the village phase.
  • The current Han China wall, which has a width of 7 and a height of 10; ought to be deprecated.
  • The current Carthaginian wall, which has a width of 7 and a height of 12, is currently the largest wall in the public mod.
  • The current Macedonian wall, which has a width of 5 and a height of 11.5, is probably the most typical wall size.
  • The current Roman siege wall, which has a width of 4 and a height of 5.7, is the smallest full-length wall.

The widths are the <Obstruction> depths, the heights the <TurretPoints> <Y> position, i.e. the offset at which units on the walls are placed, thus without battlements, roofs, etc. (The normalized cross-section volumes are, respectively, 240, 116.7, 26.7, 70, 84, 57.5, 22.8.)

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18 hours ago, Nescio said:

It's unclear to me which revision you mean. Moreover, on my end I don't get errors. Could you update (svn up) 0 A.D., update (git pull) the Han China mod, disable all other mods, and try again?

Although i was sure about the reason for these "smoking cc's"  i've disabled all mods and got a clean "han_china_mod". The result still is the same as described:

After changing "civil_centre.xml" to this:

grafik.thumb.png.b01d9d0edab8a6c0245593a36b2a9042.png

 

and "cicil_centre_no_towers.xml" to this:

grafik.thumb.png.e72127e5754359cec30f4d467d7334d7.png

 

all things are as they should - no dust.

 

grafik.thumb.png.dde05b157c0e0e182059810759a6cf40.png

 

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8 hours ago, Stan` said:

I think having such big walls might be an issue for certain maps; Just like why we can't use the murus gallicus.

While such walls would be larger than the currently existing walls, their footprints are still smaller than those of civic centres, or wonders. Moreover, walls are not built in every match; the AI never does, and on small maps an early rush can already win the game. Besides, I'm proposing giving the Han three sets of walls, making them stand out from other civs and giving players a choice; the largest walls would mean a significant investment in time.

By the way, I'd love to see a proper Gallic wall in game! :)

52 minutes ago, Mr.lie said:

Although i was sure about the reason for these "smoking cc's"  i've disabled all mods and got a clean "han_china_mod". The result still is the same as described:

After changing "civil_centre.xml" to this:

and "cicil_centre_no_towers.xml" to this:

all things are as they should - no dust.

Sorry, I still fail to see what's wrong. But if you understand what the problem is and how it can be fixed, could you make a pull request to https://github.com/0ADMods/han_china ?

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59 minutes ago, Nescio said:

footprints are still smaller than those of civic centres, or wonders.

That's a bit of a strawman argument, isn't it ? :)

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Besides, I'm proposing giving the Han three sets of walls, making them stand out from other civs and giving players a choice; the largest walls would mean a significant investment in time.

I guess people will expect being able to upgrade them into one another ? And a significant size change will have  run into the but that obstructions are not checked when upgrading. Maybe @wraitii
has a fix for that but i believe it was "by design"

Also I'm still unsure what they should look like :/ Bricks I can do cause it makes sense but mud I don't know. I am afraid it will look very bad.

 

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

 

By the way, I'd love to see a proper Gallic wall in game!

Me too but pathfinder doesn't support using the mount in the current actor as actual terrain.

 

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

While such walls would be larger than the currently existing walls, their footprints are still smaller than those of civic centres, or wonders. Moreover, walls are not built in every match; the AI never does, and on small maps an early rush can already win the game. Besides, I'm proposing giving the Han three sets of walls, making them stand out from other civs and giving players a choice; the largest walls would mean a significant investment in time.

By the way, I'd love to see a proper Gallic wall in game! :)

Sorry, I still fail to see what's wrong. But if you understand what the problem is and how it can be fixed, could you make a pull request to https://github.com/0ADMods/han_china ?

With revision 122 stan made several changes:

han_civil_centre_122.thumb.png.be1f7815cfa95f8c486b423ef571e54e.png

han_civil_centre_no_towers_122.thumb.png.fc91de9e884208f945b0e424f56d3837.png

 

Most likely i would make a pull-request, but if you don't see, what's wrong and if you don't get errors, there is no need for that, then only i have this problem. ;)

Edited by Mr.lie
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6 minutes ago, Stan` said:

That's a bit of a strawman argument, isn't it ? :)

Why would wall thickness be “an issue for certain maps”, though? And if it is, why is that a problem? Maps use actors and simulation entities, but they don't dictate them. Not all maps have to use walls, just like ships aren't used on non-water maps.

7 minutes ago, Stan` said:

I guess people will expect being able to upgrade them into one another ?

Why? Romans can't upgrade palisades into siege walls, or siege walls into city walls. They're three separate sets.

9 minutes ago, Stan` said:

Also I'm still unsure what they should look like :/ Bricks I can do cause it makes sense but mud I don't know. I am afraid it will look very bad.

No, rammed earth is not the same as mud. I posted some photographs earlier, and the wikipedia page has more images.

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