This ox figurine with a human body and an animal head represents one of the twelve animals associated with the Chinese zodiac: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, chicken, dog, and pig. They symbolize the individual years of the Chinese twelve-year cycle and the twelve two-hour periods into which the Chinese divided the day. Animals were first used to signify the twelve-year cycle during the Warring States period (475-221 BCE). By the Sui (581-618) and Tang dynasties they were engraved on funerary steles and around the edges of epitaphs.
  Two quite distinctive ideals of female beauty appear in Tang tomb figurines. One is svelte, somewhat attenuated, with slim neck, high bosom, and tiny waist set off by a low-cut, Empire-style gown. The other is more voluptuous, matronly, and draped in a loose gown, like this earthenware figurine shown here. Whether these two types represent a difference over time or a difference between social classes, we do not know. Hardly a trace remains of the pigment that once detailed and embellished this figurine.