Palaces and Administration
In section «Palaces and Administration», various objects, like wall paintings, pottery, a rubbing of a stele with the depiction of an imperal palace complex, narrated stories about "palace life". Special focus was reserved for the personality of the single female empress of China, Wu Zetian, that ascended to the throne in 690 A.D., establishing her own, short-lived Dynasty that interjected that of the Tang's. But also the Art of Dancing, and its role in celebrating important political moments and military successes, as well as entertaining the High Society, was present, through the screening of the famous "Dance scene" from the movie "House of Flying Daggers" of director Zhang Yimou, which takes place during the era of the Tang Dynasty.
Towards the West
The cosmopolitan character of the two Capital cities of the Chinese Empire, Chang’an and Luoyang, and the relation between China and the West through the "Silk Route" where showcased by exhibits like a burial wall painting showing Chinese Dignitaries escorting foreign ambassadors, statutes representing camels and camel-drivers, ceramic vessels with traces of Hellenistic and Sassanid (Persian) influences. Of special importance were the statutes representing players of Polo, a popular sport during the Tang Dynasty, known also in the Byzantine Empire, while an imitation of a gold coin of Byzantine Emperor Herakleios (early 8th c AD), found in the Province Shaanxi, offered valuable testimony for the relations between the two empires.
Life after Death
The burial customs and the beliefs of Chinese people about the Afterlife were presented mainly through burial wall paintings and burial statutes representing relatives of the deceased or objects that belonged to them. An impressive exhibit in this section was the twelve statutes made of clay, representing the Chinese Zodiac. Statutes of the Zodiac were place in graves during the Tang Dynasty in order to protect from evil. The section ended with two clay figures of Lokapalas that were considered protectors of the Buddhist religion, but were frequently placed in tombs for the protection of the dead.
This section presented Buddhism, which had its largest expansion during the Tang Dynasty and became the official state religion during the era of Empress Wu Zetian. Here one could see wooden models of Buddhist monasteries, an impressive, statue of standing Buddha from Longmen, as well as a marble relief representation of Buddha seated between two Bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas are holy figures of Buddhism which, as they progress towards the highest Buddhist wisdom, nirvana, help other beings to also gain wisdom and be freed from the chain of reincarnations. They are usually depicted in pairs as Buddha's followers, creating together a "holy trinity". This section had also references to the other two religions of China, Taoism and Confucianism.