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Western Han Dynasty Nanyue Kings Tomb

Nanyue King Tomb in west Han, located on Xianggang Mountain in the North Jiefang Road is Zhao Mei’s, the second king of Nanyue Kingdom. He was the grandson of Zhao Tuo and was called Wendi. From 137B.C-122B.C, it was unearthed in 1983, we can identify the owner with an emperor-used seal printed with Wendi and a jade one with Zhao Mei.


Xianggang Mountain split, Nanyue King Tomb came into being. The tomb was buried about 20 meters deep under the top of the mountain. The tomb was made up of a cover chiselled vertical grave, some rooms, tomb passage and tomb chamber. The top of the tomb was covered with 24 big red sandstone slab storied rammed. Designed like a mansion, the tomb is in a location facing the south. There are three rooms in the front and four rooms in the latter with a length of 10.85 meters and width of 12.5 meters. Zhao Mei’s remains were placed in the middle of the latter room of the tomb in a big coffin and a small one that had already rotted. Together with him, there are fifteen other buried bodies, four concubines and seven slaves. The walls and the tops of the tombs were carved in with pitch-dark designs. In attached rooms in the east are some buried articles, a set of bronze bells, stone bells, pails, bronze square-mouthed and round-bellied, bei and others vine vessels, and liubo checkerboards. In the attached rooms on the side are ancient weapons, carriages, earthed horses, helmets, arrows, five-coloured medicine and stone needles for acupuncture and some other necessities. In treasure rooms are especially precious silver box from Persian, African ivory, lacquer box incense burner and dark blue bits and pieces of glass. The articles in the in the tomb indicate people in Guangzhou traded with Persians and Africans in the east coast long ago. Zhao Mei’s remains with exquisite jades and bronze wares were placed in a big coffin in the middle of the latter room, with nine chops together, the biggest seal printed with character Wendi and others are tiger-shaped imperial seal, turtle-shaped seal and jade printed with “Zhao Mei”. The latter room in the east was for Zhao’s four concubines, with for madam seal for each. The west room was a kitchen, seven slave cook buried with no coffin. The latter part was placed sacrificial offerings, cattle, sheep and pigs. The storeroom in the latter was used for food storey, in which were about a hundred cooking utensils and containers made of bronze, iron and pottery. The articles unearthed amount to over a thousands, the gold seals in Han Dynasty appearing for the first time in China. These excavated cultural relics greatly contribute to the research work concerning development, producing, culture, architecture and history of Nanyue in Lingnan in the Qin and Han Dynasties. Zhao Mei’s tomb is regarded as one of the five new discoveries in archaeology in China.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 11:18