|a display of sculptures at Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty|
Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty (漢陽陵博物館 Hànyáng líng bówùguǎn), better known to the locals as Hanyangling, serves as the final resting place of the fifth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, Liu Qi, and his wife, Empress Wang. The tombs that were built in the year 153 AD are situated in Yang Ling County and cover an area of 20 square kilometers. The whole site presents brilliant relics, including the tombs of the royalties, huge number terracotta figurines of people and animals, and also pottery kilns and domestic pottery valuable for understanding the Chinese way of living during this time.
Same as with the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin, this discovery are also to be credited to the farmers who came digging for water, but instead found these artifacts during the late 1980s. 81 pits were found containing nearly 8,000 miniature terracotta sculptures to be “utilized” by the dead royalties in the afterlife that includes an army, servants, farm animals to be slaughtered for food, and different potteries.
|The Ruins of the East Gate-Tower of the Emperor's Graveyard|
The Underground Museum was built directly under one of the excavation sites in the area, and the museum floors are made of glass barriers just to separate the museum to the excavation area. The small statues and their chariots were placed in a battle formation, as if in a war protecting the emperor. Though the area was only softly lit to preserve these artifacts, it’s still enough to appreciate the amount of detail that has been hidden in the grounds for centuries.
|we were required to wear plastic "shoes" to keep the glasses free from dirt|
|mostly male figures neatly scattered in this pit|
|there were also some urns and vases still being displayed in the original pits|
|remains of the broken figurines|
|kitchenware and domestic animals|
|the excavation work must be so painstakingly meticulous and time consuming, but to preserve something this precious, must be worth the effort!|
|so detailed - look at the difference in the face structures and they even have sexual organs, reminds me of Barbie and Ken|
|animals were also dug up - horses, cows, pigs, even as tiny as dogs and piglets|
|the terra cotta effigies are said to have worn colored silk clothing that have decayed as time passed, above is what they would have looked like before they were buried|
|magnanimous collection of the restored potteries|
I went to the Archeological Exhibition Hall afterwards, the odd thing was, half of the visitors skipped this area, or they probably did not know it existed since you need to take the golf cart ride to go here from the Burial Pit. In there, you would be able to see more of the figurines in a better lighting and presentation. In display were hundreds of armless and naked human figurines that are mostly between 55-60 centimeters in height.
It has been found out that they were once clothed in bright colored garments since some remains of cloth have been attached to their bodies. The circular holes near the shoulders could also testify that these figurines had arms before they were buried. The clothing and arms made of wood have decayed over time. It was also interesting to note the details on the entire body of these mini sculptures, the pony tailed hair, eyes, nose, cheekbones, overall facial expressions and even sexual organs are in there and were made with great focus and attention. One curious thing is there were also female warriors included in the army, could it mean that the Emperor also had battle women during his reign? Overall, it must have been a spectacular sight to see them in their full glory and colored clothing!
|they look like dolls|
|the lighting make them look glorious and creepy at the same time|
|some that needs to be restored|
|legless figurines that are posed to be riding horses|
|Females in the army? Something that researchers are still finding out about|
|they even had animals as small as chickens! such a cool thing that they were able to see these tiny effigies during excavation!|
|so meticulous! must have been hard for those artisans who worked for this project|
|The different emotions of each soldier made me so curious|
|Some of the remaining colorful sculptures that have been preserved|
Located nearby Xi’An’s airport, this could be one of your first stops in the city. I am really surprised that a site this world-class only gets very few visitors, but it definitely adds a certain charm to the place, where else in China can you enjoy going to an astounding relic site with the pleasure of not constantly bumping into tourists and being annoyed with the constant loudspeaker announcement from travel guides? This underrated but impressive archaeological treasure of China is definitely one of the things I truly enjoyed and I certainly recommend this as one of the reasons to visit Xi’An.
|a picture during the excavation, how cool it would have been to be able to see something this great be unearthed in person|
How to go to Tomb of Emperor Jingdi/Yangling Mausoleum of Han Dynasty:
Take subway and get off at Shitsuguan (City Public Library) Station
Take tourist bus No.4, schedules below:
8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:00, 16:00 and 17:00
More of China here