The structure of the tomb is similar in style to the palace where the emperor lived. The tomb is large. It has a volume of about 2,700 cubic meters. It mainly consists of the southern and northern side-rooms and the front and back halls. The main room of the back hall is where the inner and outer coffins made of white marble were put. The coffin chamber was built with a good drainage system.
The tomb of Liu Sheng (King of the Zhongshan Kingdom) and the tomb of Dou Wan (Queen of Liu Sheng) are both on the east side of the the main peak. Their tombs are located in a row, and the gates of the tombs both face east. The two tombs are about 120 meters from each other. On the hillside in front of the tombs is an ancient path aligned north to south that measures about 5 meters in width.
The coffin chamber of Liu Sheng is about 52 meters long with a maximum width of 37.5 meters and a maximum height of 6.8 meters. The volume of the coffin chamber is about 2,700 cubic meters. The tomb is composed of the passage, the paved path, a south side-room, a north side-room, the middle hall and the back hall.
The tomb of Dou Wan is similar to Liu Sheng's Tomb. It has a length of 49.7 meters, a maximum width of 65 meters, a maximum height of 7.9 meters and a volume of 3,000 cubic meters. The entrance to the tomb of Liu Sheng was sealed up with an adobe wall, and the tomb of Dou Wan was sealed up with a brick wall. Molten iron was poured into the wall and turned the wall into an iron wall in an attempt to make the place secure.
In total, there are 10,633 historical and cultural objects that were found in the two tombs including gold vessels, silverware, ironware, jade articles, pottery, lacquer work, silk fabrics, acupuncture needles and so on. Among them, over 4,000 objects are of high value, especially the costly jade clothing, a gilt bronze Human-Shaped Lamp, and an inlaid gold Boshan censer.
There are two complete suits of jade clothing that were their burial clothes. Jade clothing that were sewn with wire like this were actually funeral suits for the emperors or rulers. It was a custom in the Warring States Period (476 – 221 BC) and was also a custom in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The jade suits were made to fit the deceased. The emperors were buried in jade garments sewn with golden thread, lesser ranking people were buried in jade garments sewn with silver thread, and officials and nobles were put in jade garments sewn with copper thread.
Dou Wan and Liu Sheng were buried in suits that were made of flat pieces of jade that were sewn together with gold wire. It was thought that the jade had the virtue of mountains, so they were buried like that. The high value and exquisite workmanship make the clothes rare.
The jade suit of Liu Sheng is a little longer than that of the Queen, Dou Wan. The one on Liu Sheng was made of 2,498 pieces of jade and 1,100 grams of gold wire (almost two and a half pounds of gold)! The pieces were accurately shaped, polished and color matched. The design of the jade suit on the queen is like that on her husband except that it was composed of fewer pieces of jade and less gold.
The gilt bronze Human-Shaped Lamp is a gilded palace lamp 48 centimeters tall. It is held by a kneeling statue of a maid. There are inscriptions carved on the lamp.
The Han Dynasty Tombs in Mancheng are 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) northwest of Baoding City. The site is on the east side of the main peak of Lingshan Mountain.
The Han Dynasty Tombs in Mancheng were approved to be national heritage preservation sites by the State Council of China in 1988. And it is famous for the jade clothing that were sewn with gold wire and a gilt bronze Human-Shaped Lamp that was found.
How To Go There
People can take Bus 10 in Baoding and get off at the crossing of the Dynasty Tombs in Mancheng. Then they should walk about 150 meters, and they will reach their destination. If people choose to drive there, they can set off from Baoding, and after half an hour's driving on Baolai Road, they will reach the Han Dynasty site.
Tourists can take a cableway to go up the mountain and take another way down. Along the road to the Han Dynasty site, there are road signs and gas stations.
I updated this article on December 19, 2012
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