Hanyang Mausoleum in Xi'an (Hanyangling, 汉阳陵)
The Mausoleum of the Western Han Emperor, Liu Qi, is located at Zhangjiawan Village, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Xian City, Shaanxi Province. It is a joint tomb of Liu Qi, a notable emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD), and his empress, Empress Wang. It was built in the year 153 AD and covers an area of 20 square kilometers (4,942 acres). It is a magnificent and abundant cultural relic, comprising the emperor's tomb, empress' tomb, the south and north burial pits, ceremonial site, human sacrifice graveyard and criminals' cemetery. The mausoleum is neatly arranged, centered with the emperor's tomb, revealing the strict hierarchical social structure. The Outside Pits Exhibition Hall was opened in 2006 and is the first underground museum in China.
There are 86 outside pits laid with burial objects. These pits vary in size and the length of these ranges from four meter (13 feet) to over 100 meters (328 feet). In the 1990s, archaeologists excavated ten outside pits and found that they were made to be enclosed space, like wooden cases. From the vestiges, those pits are believed to have original column frames, separating boards, doors and brick floor. Unearthed burial objects include naked pottery figurines, chariots and horses, weapons, articles of everyday use and a large number of pottery animals.
South and North Burial Pits
Compared with the Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the pottery figures are one tenth of the actual objects and vary from the warrior to civilian, male to female. Some of them are sculptures of valiant female warriors, gentle and elegant servants, singers or dancers in traditional dress with their long sleeves waving. Naked and armless pottery figures are so vivid and lifelike, claiming to be the 'Oriental Apollo and Venus'. According to the archaeologists, the naked figures had clothes on and wooden arms which had decayed and fallen off over years.
Luojing Stone Site (Ancestral Temple Site)
Outside Pits Exhibition Hall
Through the glass on the right, on the left or under foot, visitors can see pottery warriors, animals, chariots and horses, and the archaeologists excavating. A kind of imaging technique concerning with optical illusion has been applied in the museum. Through the illusive characters and scenes, the life of Liu Qi, the anecdote of Empress Wang and the archaeological discoveries in the mausoleum are presented.