Han Emperor Wendi's Mausoleum Found in China

Han Emperor Wendi's Mausoleum Found in China
Han Emperor Wendi's Mausoleum Found in China

A large-scale mausoleum found in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty. The Western Han Empire ruled from 202 BC to 25 AD. Located in Jiangcun village, the mausoleum is surrounded by more than 100 ancient tombs and outer burial pits. As a result of excavations carried out in the region since 2017, numerous remains have been unearthed, including worked pottery figures, Tatar bows and official seals.

Archaeologists, who could not find any burial mounds in the tomb, said that there were four ramps leading to the entrance of the burial chamber, which is 2 to 4,5 meters deep, and that the burial chamber was 74,5 meters long and 71,5 meters wide.

Ma Yongying, a researcher at Shaanxi Archeology Academy, stated that the mausoleum is similar to the other two Western Han Dynasty emperors in terms of structure and scale, and that it bears traces of historical evolution, adding that historical documents also support the claims of archaeologists.

Rumor has it that Emperor Wendi's tomb is located in a nearby place called Fenghuangzui, just north of Jiangcun village. The discovery of the mausoleum puts an end to this long-standing rumor that emerged with the discovery of an ancient stone tablet with inscriptions at Fenghuangzui. Emperor Wendi, whose personal name was Liu Heng, was famous for his thrift and helpfulness. Under his rule, which lasted more than 20 years, the dynasty's economy flourished as the population saw an expansion.

The mausoleum is among the three major archaeological finds announced by the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA). Other finds include the remains of a settlement in Luoyang, Henan province, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In this period, cities were strictly divided into residential and commercial areas by walls.

Measuring 533.6 meters long and 464.6 meters wide, according to the NCHA, the site reflects traditional Chinese philosophy on urban planning and is of great importance for studying the political system and social life during the dynasty.

The other site is a burial complex for the royal families of Tuyuhun, a neighboring kingdom of the Tang empire, located in Wuwei City, Gansu Province, in northwest China.

The complex has the only well-preserved tomb of the Tuyuhun royals ever discovered. More than 800 textile and pottery figurines found in the tomb were preserved by laboratory methods.

Source: China International Radio

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