The study of animal images in Chinese sculpture of the Han and Tang dynasties from the point of view of identifying the features of the artistic image, functionality, semantic significance made it possible to consider and evaluate them not only in terms of plot, but also at the level of style, plastic language, aesthetics, and identify the components of national specificity in sculpture of memorial ensembles. Starting from the Eastern Han period (东汉), a system of organizing the environment in front of the tombs began to form, in which great importance was attached to the installation of stone images of mythical animals. The images of animals practically form a kind of system of cultural codes determined by the national tradition. Sculptural images of animals located in the context of memorial ensembles are the most vivid expressions of ideas about the universe in all its manifestations. Images of mythical and real animals are often found in Chinese art and literature, and in the ancient period they act as a system of signs, with the help of which the codes of space and time, force and power, life and death are recorded and transmitted.