Chinese Pyramid - Maoling Mound

Maoling is the Pyramid of Chinese Emperor Wu Di

The existence of burial tombs of ancient Chinese nobility from dynasties of Tang, Ming, Han, Qin, Zhao, and Zhou became known to general public after the Second World War. The news that the giant pyramids were not only in Egypt but also in China draw a wide response in the world. The West, for example, received the report with incredulity, believing that this was a regular “fake”, invented by the Mao Zedong’s government for patriotic propaganda. However, the data of the U.S. intelligence, carried out in the vicinity of Xian in 1945 confirmed the presence of the pyramids, equal to those of Cheops and Chephren in size and no less ancient than the Egyptian ones.

By the beginning of the XXI century the location of hundreds of such tombs, located mainly near Xi’an was made public. The location of the burial pyramids is quite natural, given the fact that Xi'an, or Chang’an, as it was called in ancient times, was the capital of the Chinese state for several centuries.
It is not customary to open imperial burial grounds in China. The excavations are usually carried out near the graves. But there are sometimes exceptions. So, for example, the Maoling Mausoleum of Emperor Wu Di (156-87 BC) from the Han Dynasty was partly studied.

The Maoling is one of the largest burial grounds of Western Han dynasty. It is located 40 km from Xi'an in the village of Nanvey. The tomb is entirely made of rammed earth. Its height is 46.5 m, width of walls - 5.8 m, and the perimeter - 1700 m. We know from history that the mausoleum was being built as long as 53 years. The tomb included rare artifacts of the Han culture and luxurious funeral attributes with silver and gold plating. Some of the finds were handed over to the museums of Shaanxi Province; the others are still exhibited in the museum at the mausoleum.

Around the Maolign mound, there located about two dozen graves, the most famous and well-kept from them is the tomb of General Ho Tsyuybin (140-117 BC), who went down in history as a skilled military leader and who won many victories over the Xionnu (Hsiung-nu) during the reign of Wu Di. Especially valuable are the 16 ancient stone bas-reliefs in front of the tomb of Ho Tsyuybin. They are both individual sculptures of animals (elephant, camel, horse, frog, fish), and also sculptural compositions. In our times, the General’s tomb was further decorated and landscaped, creating a strange contrast with the imperial mound, which looks much neglected.

To get to the Maoling tomb can be by bus from Xi’an bus station, the admission fee to Maoling is 46 CNY. If you are interested in similar attractions in the vicinity of Xi’an, we also encourage you to visit the Yanlin mound of Han Emperor Jing Di, the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huangdi with the famous terracotta army, the pyramidal tomb of Princess Yong Tai.