Gansu Ancient Tombs of Wei & Jin Dynasties - China Travel Tour Guide

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Ancient Tombs of Wei & Jin Dynasties

About 20km away from the Jiayu Pass, the ancient tombs of the Wei and the Jin Dynasties are situated on the Gobi in Xincheng Town, Gansu Province. They are famous tomb groups of underground mural painting bricks in China and they deserve the title of "the largest underground gallery in the world".

Among the ancient tombs of the Wei and the Jing Dynasties, there are more than 1400 brick tombs during the Wei Dynasty (220 ~ 419) in the scope of 20km, east of the Jiayu Pass and west of the Jiuquan city. These tombs built with bricks and stones started to be unearthed in 1972. In 1979, there are 13 tombs had been unearthed, among them, 8 tombs have colorful mural painting bricks and more than 700 precious mural bricks were took out from the tombs.

The ancient tombs of the Wei and the Jing Dynasties were the graveyards that the clan gathered and buried together in the Wei and the Jing times of the Northern and Southern Dynasty, divided into two kinds: two rooms and three rooms, the arch slope type of path leading to the grave and built with stone bricks.

On the tomb door there carved the floating cloud vein, the water and fire painting and the statues of four Gods, on the square bricks there are colorful drawings with different models such as rare animals and immortals.

There are many types of patterns on the bricks of ground and many paintings on the tomb walls showing the life of the Wei and the Jin people, some are the scenes of peasants working and harvesting, some are scenes of women and servants sprinkling water and sweeping floor in family, some are of noble and imperial families going on an expedition to fight or hunting and some are of the rich and powerful families having a banquet and enjoying a happy life.

These tomb paintings' technique is simple and the image is different, different tombs have different painting themes, systematically reflecting many-sided conditions of politics, economy, culture, military affairs and folk customs. The true-to-life and vivid painting technology is earlier than the painting arts in the Mogaoku caves in Dunhuang and it is the representative of painting in the Wei and the Jin Dynasties in China.

The Great Wall stretches thousands of li from the Shanhaoguan Pass in North China, from east to west, reaches the Jiayu Pass of Gansu Province. As the last pass of the Great Wall, the Jiayu Pass which was the important military place has become a travel hot spot now. The famous ancient painting tombs of the Wei and the Jin Dynasties are located near northeast of the Jiayu Pass and another famous scenic spot named "cliff Great Wall" is nearby.