The dating is consistent with the Oxford Authentication thermoluminescence report no. C199b41
Pottery and bronze oxen as burial gifts do not share the same status as other animals such as horses and camels, although several fine examples have survived, of which the present lot may included. The first figures of oxen unearthed from burial chambers were cast in bronze and can be dated to the late Eastern Zhou period (453-256 B.C.).
Pottery oxen from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) are hardly known. It seems that the animal only became popular as burial gift, from the sixth century onwards. Perhaps it was only during this period that the Chinese rediscovered the importance of the ox for their daily life and thus their after-life. The ox helped not only to cultivate their land, but also to pull a cart, as some excavated pottery examples confirm. The animal was highly appreciated for his enormous strength, and is considered to be the symbol of fertility. In various cultures the ox still forms one of the most important offerings to the gods when pleading for health and good harvest.