Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty
Located on the way from Xian Airport to downtown Xian,22 kilometers west to Xi’an, the Yangling is Mausoleum of Liu Qi, Emperor Jing, the fourth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (202BC-8AD) who reigned China for 17 years, and died at Chang’an at when he was 48. After dying he was buried at Yangling Mausoleum after his death.
Emperor Jindi (188BC—141BC), named Liu Qi, was the fourth Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. During his 17-year reign, he adhered to the philosophy of Yellow Emperor and Saint Laozi, whose main doctrine was to follow the natural principles. He developed a peaceful relationship with the Huns through intermarriage, and reduced the burden of tax and penalty. According to historical records, “the state revenue of the ancient capital was brimming with coins that the ropes, used for tying, decayed, leaving them impossible to count. Foods in state storage was permeated, most of them decayed”. Emperor Jindi, together with his father Emperor Wendi, opened a golden era of harmony in the early feudal society, which was later regarded as “the Great Reign of Wen and Jin”. 30 odd years of excavation shows that the Yangling Mausoleum is mainly composed of the Emperor and Empress` graveyards, southern and northern burial pits, ritual building, the satellite and criminal’s graveyards, and Yangling town. To the west of them, lie the emperor and empress tomb, northern and southern burial pits and the remains of ancestral construction. The emperor’s tomb is surrounded by 81 burial pits radiating from the centeral mound. A 110-meter wide Sacred Road, flanked by 10000 odd satellite tombs of ancient high officials, leads directly to Yangling Town. This scene is similar to ancient morning court held by the emperor. Objects unearthed from the 200 odd burial pits include armored warrior figures with weapons, elegant palace maids with Han costumes, and countless animals with vivid expressions. The Mausoleum is considered to represent the ancient burial custom, “to attend to the dead as if to attend to the living”. The Mausoleum is the most intact royal mausoleum and the most important tangible document in the research of burial customs and civilization of the Han Dynasty.
In 1989, when constructed the the expressway connecting Xian and airport archaeologists made a general prospect in the area, and they first found a group of terracotta figures colorfully painted yet armless and naked, and many other cultural relics as well. However, in recent years we came to know through large-scale exploration and excavation that the plain figure of the Yangling Tomb is an irregularly shaped rectangle. That between east and west extends nearly 9 kilometers and that between north and south is around 3 kilometers so the tomb yard cover a total area of almost 27 square kilometers. Encircled in the tomb yard you’ll see the tomb of the emperor, tomb of the queen, the northern and southern accompanying burial pits, the burial grounds of culprits and prisoner, the group of sacrificial temple and buildings and still some attendant tombs and a tomb wall as well. During the exploration within the tomb wall we’ve found 81 accompanying burial pits that are laid out in a tight and orderly way. They consist of cavalry guards of honor, warriors and all kinds of war- Chariots, weapons, bridles, tools, utensils, food storage and all sorts of other objects. Besides the item buried surrounding the Emperors Mausoleum to accompany him in his afterlife. A mini city was established here to protect the mausoleum. The city covers an area of 4.5km2. In city area there are 31 east-west streets and 31 south-north streets, which divided the city into over 100 blocks. And in the blocks archaeologists found the ruins of Han Dynasty buildings, government office blocks, living blocks of common people and pottery-making blocks. And a currency casting block and a baby tomb area. The mini city existed for hundreds of years and later generations gradually abandoned the city.
Terracotta Warriors unearthed in the Mausoleum attracted the public’s attention a lot. They are only 1/3 of the real people size and most of them took the totally same figure, face and hairstyle. After studying, archaeologists believe there naked armless warriors were fixed with wooden arms and dressed in real clothes. The holes on their shoulders are the connected points of arms and bodies and in this way arms could wave and do some suspected actions. With time goes by, the dressings and wooden arms decayed, leaving the disabled bodies naked. Among the terracotta figures there are some lady figures. Some of they have typical Chinese faces and other took appearance of minor ethnics. Compared with the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shihuang, figures in Hanyangling Mausoleum look more leisurely. Because when Emperor Jingdi governed China, China was in good peace and life of common people led a relatively good life.
Entrance fee: March- November: RMB90 per person; December- February: RMB65 per person
Opening hours: 08:30-17:30
Public transportation: Take bus 游4 at Chengshi Yundong Gongyuan to Hanyangling Mausoleum
Tips for Hanyangling Mausoleum visiting:
Bus to Hanyangling Mausoleum is not so convenient for tourists who are not familiar with Xian. If one arrives or departs Xian by air he could visit Hanyangling on the way to airport.
Tours including Yangling Mausoleum:
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