The Fresco Tombs of Wei and Jin Dynasty
The Fresco Tombs located in the northwestern Gobi desert 20 km away from Jiayuguan City, and between Xincheng Township of Jiayuguan City and Dingjiazha Township of Jiuquan City.
These fresco tombs were discovered in 1972 and ten of them have been dug up. Most of the dug tombs are family tombs in which the dead family members were buried together. They are made of bricks and there are usually 2 or 3 chambers in it. The chambers are linked together by arched slope passages. The doors inside a tomb have paintings or carved patterns and floors were paved with bricks with patterns on them. On the brick walls there are frescoes. These tombs are known as the "underground painting gallery". These frescoes are also referred to as "an encyclopedia on the silk road" because they vividly show ancient people's all kinds of activities: farming, stockbreeding, hunting, banqueting, playing chess and riding. Needless to say, they reflect the situation in politics, economy, military, culture, diplomacy and climate during Wei and Jin Dynasty. And they fill the void of the China painting history in Wei and Jin Dynasty. The coloring of the frescos is complex and shows sophisticated skills. Among these tombs dug, the No. 6 tomb is very representative. It is an official's tomb and its chambers are delicately designed. On the both sides of the main chamber, there are a cow and sheep pen, a small room for carriage, a kitchen and a storehouse. The carvings inside the tomb are very refined and delicate and they vividly show the official's whole life: farming, doing business, and becoming an official. There are scenes of laboring and of entertaining as well.