Hq Guesthouse in Xi'an Review of Han Yang Ling Mauseleum
We had heard quite a bit about this place, and finally got to check it out on the weekend. Hanyangling really is the unsung hero of Xi'an. Although the statues don't quite offer the same substance as the tomb of its illustrious cousin, Hanyang Ling more than makes up for it with a world class presentation.
When Mei and myself visited, we had slept in a bit and had a few things to take care of in the morning, so didn't actually get there until 3.00. Obviously a bit peckish after the trip we can recommend the jaouzi (dumplings) out there for a stomach filler at a reasonable price. As for the place itself, the presentation is excellent, while the staff are friendly and refreshingly chilled out. The statues certainly do not have the same hit you in the head with a brick impact as their more famous Qin cousins, however the enironment more than makes up for that. Personally I felt I got a better feel for the history of Xi'an at this site than the Terra Cotta Army.
In addition you can get up close and personal with relics, and feel the anguish of the Eunuchs. Ouch!!! The lay out for viewing really makes the site, allowing you a unique opportunity to experience the scale of the burial. You can walk over the pits on a glass floor as well as see them displayed in fine order and detail in traditional museum style. The extra 10 kuai for the show is worth it too, a wonderful combination of history and modernity with Spectra Technology enhancing the viewing experience.
Definately well worth a visit for anyone coming to Xi'an. Ideally, if you are arriving or leaving Xi'an by plane, you should try to combine with a trip to this tomb. The site is only a few km from the airport and can be covered in an hour and a half. Personally I think it is an exceptional place to visit. We can arrange airport pick up/drop off and throw in a sidetrip for extremely reasonable prices. Drop us a line for further details.
When they give you two plastic bags as you enter the main site, put them over your shoes- not on your head as an Australian couple who stayed here told us they had done. Quote of the year "why did they give us two of these each, we only have one head!!"
(Don't worry J., J., and G., it is still our little secret mates)
The Shaanxi Provincial People's Government made public the details of the partial excavation of the Yangling Tomb of the Western Han Dynasty on September 16, 1999. The Yangling Tomb, a Western Han (202 B.C.-16 A.D.) imperial mausoleum that had been undisturbed for about 2,100 years, has been excavated partially. Found in the tomb were color-painted nude pottery figurines, and 90 large subordinate burial pits around it, covering an area of more than 7,000 square meters. In these pits, a large number of cultural relics were found. Also discovered was the largest human sacrifice graveyard ever found in China up to now. A total of 5,000 sacrificial burial tombs have been verified, and the graveyard covers a total area of 3.5 square km. From the excavated 280 sacrificial tombs, more than 5,000 pieces and sets of various kinds of cultural relics were unearthed.
The Yangling mausoleum is the joint tomb of Liu Qi, Emperor Jingdi of Han (188-141 B.C.), and the empress of the king Xiaojing, situated on the Xianyang plateau in Shaanxi Province. It is the farthest east of the nine Western Han imperial mausoleums on the loess plateau. From 1991 to October of 1994,large-scale archaeological excavations and studies of the Yangling Tomb were launched. From a site, which accounts for only one thirteenth of the total area of the sacrificial burial pits, about 600 color-painted pottery figurines and 4,000 pieces of various cultural relics were unearthed. The figurines included warriors escorting the imperial chariot, attendants watching over boxes and cases, cattle drovers and clerks.
There were also animal models produced in different styles.
Researchers found that these Han figurines were first modeled as nude bodies, painted with hair and skin colors, fitted with movable wooded arms and hands, and then clothed. The clothing was damaged and the wooden arms had rotted over the centuries. But the colors remain as bright as when they were first painted.
The figurines generally are 62 centimeters tall. They have (male or female) sex organs, navels and all the functional bodily orifices. The animal figurines include pigs, dogs, sheep, cocks and hens, all made in a vivid and lively style.
Source: Archeological Discoveries