Chinese pyramids are ancient mausoleums and burial mounds built to house the remains of several early emperors of China and their imperial relatives. About 38 of them are located around 25 kilometres (16 mi) – 35 kilometres (22 mi) north-west of Xi’an, on the Qin Chuan Plains in Shaanxi Province. The most famous is the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, northeast of Xi’an and 1.7 km west of where the Terracotta Warriors were found]. Chinese pyramids were also built during the Han, Tang, Song, and Western Xia dynasties.’
They have flat tops, and thus are more similar in shape to the Teotihuacan pyramids north-east of Mexico City, Mexico than to the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Although known in the West for at least a century, their existence has been made controversial by sensationalist publicity and the problems of Chinese archaeology in early 20th century.
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Perfectly preserved Caucasoid mummies and pyramids discovered in China, thousands of years before the Silk road, the earliest inhabitants to the area.
Yingpan Man, his 2.00 meter (six-foot, six-inch) long body and the clothes and artifacts discovered in the surrounding tombs suggest the highest level of civilization in the ancient Tarim Basin region. Buddhism origins.
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The tumulus mound covering the tomb of Emperor Jing of Han (r. 156-141 BCE), located outside of Xi’an
The introduction of pyramids in China to popular attention came in two stages. Many early stories were focused on the existence of “Great White Pyramid.” U.S. Army Air Corps pilot James Gaussman is said to have seen a white jewel-topped pyramid during a flight between India and China during World War II. Colonel Maurice Sheahan, Far Eastern director of Trans World Airlines, told an eyewitness account of his encounter with a pyramid in the March 28, 1947 edition of The New York Times. A photo of Sheahan’s pyramid appeared in The New York Sunday News on March 30, 1947. This photograph later became attributed to James Gaussman. Chris Maier showed that the pyramid in the photo is the Maoling Mausoleum of Emperor Wu of Han, just outside of Xi’an. Alternative writers such as Hartwig Hausdorf (who speculated it was built by aliens) and Phillip Coppens did much to bring them to public attention.
Mausoleum of Han Yang Ling near Xian, model of pyramid of how it would have looked on completion also known as Sheahan’s pyramid.
Credit: Han Yang Ling Museum
Despite claims to the contrary, the existence of these pyramid-shaped tomb mounds was known by scientists in the West before the publicity caused by the story in 1947. Shortly after the New York Times story, Science News Letter (now Science News) published a short item saying “The Chinese pyramids of that region are built of mud and dirt and are more like mounds than the pyramids of Egypt, and the region is little travelled. American scientists who have been in the area suggest that the height of 1,000 feet (300 m), more than twice as high as any of the Egyptian pyramids, may have been exaggerated, because most of the Chinese mounds of that area are built relatively low. The location, reported 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Sian, is in an area of great archaeological importance, but few of the pyramids have ever been explored.” Victor Segalen visited China in 1913 and wrote about the First Emperor’s tomb (and other mound tombs in the region) in Mission Archeologique en Chine (1914): L’art funeraire a l’epoque des Han.
Pottery figurines of domesticated animals and female servants dressed in silk robes, excavated from the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han (r. 156-141 BC) near modern Xi’an (ancient Chang’an)
Some of the pyramids of Xi’an are now tourist attractions and several pyramids have small museums attached to them.
This map shows where most Chinese pyramids are located.in the Xi’an area.
Four thousand years ago, a community lived in the Tarim Basin — in what is now the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China — in the heart of Asia. The Tarim Basin people thrived there for at least 1,500 years. There are indications that they survived as a culture even into the second century. Then they disappeared. Now their remains are being reclaimed from the sands, and the people of that extinct nation are challenging scientists and scholars to fathom who they may have been, and — if an answer can be found — where, in prehistory, they came from. According to sweeping physical evidence, they were not Chinese. They were not even Asian in the present day meaning of the word. They were Tocharians; a Caucasian people and, more importantly, Indo-European/Aryan
The Cherchen Man
Cherchen Man or Chärchän Man is a mummy discovered in the Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, western China. Cherchen Man “died around 1000 BC”. The mummy is described as: a 3,000 year old male, “6-foot-6-inch giant with Caucasian features”, with hair that is “reddish brown flecked with grey, framing high cheekbones”, an “aquiline” “long nose, full lips and a ginger beard”, whose face is tattooed with “yellow and purple patterns”, it wears “a red twill tunic and tartan leggings”; it is also described as looking “like a Bronze Age European”
The Taklamakan Mummies(Tocharian mummies)
In the late 1980′s, perfectly preserved 3000-year-old mummies began appearing in a remote Taklamakan desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European features and didn’t appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people. Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient civilization that existed at the crossroads between China and Europe.
Victor Mair, a specialist in the ancient corpses and co-author of “Mummies of the Tarim Basin”, said:”Modern DNA and ancient DNA show that Uighurs, Kazaks, Krygyzs, the peoples of Central Asia are all mixed Caucasian and East Asian. The modern and ancient DNA tell the same story.”
The discoveries in the 1980s of the undisturbed 4,000-year-old ”Beauty of Loulan” and the younger 3,000-year-old body of the ”Charchan Man” are legendary in world archaeological circles for the fine state of their preservation and for the wealth of knowledge they bring to modern research. In the second millennium BC, the oldest mummies, like the Loulan Beauty, were the earliest settlers in the Tarim Basin.
The first Tocharian Nordic mummy found in 1989: a White female with long blond hair, finely preserved by the arid desert atmosphere of the Taklamakan desert. Based on her partially dismembered limbs and gouged out eyes, archaeologists believe she was a sacrificial victim.
A Tocharian female mummy with long flaxen blond hair, perfectly preserved in ponytails. Items of weaved material, identical to Celtic cloth, definitively proved the Indo-European origins of the Tocharians, who not only built the fantastic Silk Road cities which today lie deserted, but who are also credited with bringing Buddhism, horses, the saddle, and iron working to China. This mummy was approximately 40-years old, was found in the main chamber of the same tomb. Her tall stature, high nose, and red hair indicate that she was of European descent.
Beauty of Loulan
One of the most famous Tocharian mummies found, the so-called “Beauty of Loulan”; and right, her face as reconstructed by an artist.“Beauty of Loulan” The oldest mummies found in the Tarim Basin come from Loulan located at the east end of the egg shaped Taklamakan Desert. Dressed only in shades of brown, she was alive as early as 2000 B.C. during the era of Abraham and the patriarchs. She died when she was about 40. Next to her head there is a basket which contains grains of wheat.
list of Chinese pyramids
Zhou dynasty tombs complex near Luoyang, Henan
- Tomb of King Ling of Zhou 34.6250°N 112.3753°E
- Tomb of Three Kings of Zhou 34.6280°N 112.3829°E
Zhao Kings’ tombs complex near Handan, Hebei
- Tomb of King of Zhao state 36.7067045°N 114.4188523°E
]Qin dynasty mausoleums near Xi’an, Shaanxi
- Tomb of First Emperor in Lintong 34.3812356°N 109.2540121°E .This is the largest Chinese burial mound. The original height is 76 metres (249 ft), the present height is 47 metres (154 ft), and the size is 357 metres (1,171 ft) x 354 metres (1,161 ft). It was built during the short-lived imperial Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).
- Tomb of Emperor Qin Ershi in Xi’an
Maoling Mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Wu of Han 34.3380854°N 108.569684°E. The size is 222 metres (728 ft) x 217 metres (712 ft).
- Tomb of Empress Li 34.3403272°N 108.5620023°E
- Tomb of Princess Yang Xin
Pingling Mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Zhao of Han 34.3617534°N 108.6401081°E
- Tomb of Empress Shangguan 34.363135°N 108.63053834°E
Yanling Mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Cheng of Han 34.3748955°N 108.6980009°E
- Tomb of Empress Xu 34.3746481°N 108.6847402°E
- Tomb of Consort Ban 34.3798011°N 108.7044919°E
- Tomb of Empress Zhao Feiyan
Kangling Mausoleum group:
Weiling Mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Yuan of Han 34.3903026°N 108.7391139°E
- Tomb of Empress Wang 34.3932419°N 108.7338353°E
Group of two “tombs of Zhou Kings” (possibly from Han era):
- Tomb of King Wu of Zhou
- Tomb of King Wen of Zhou
Yiling mausoleum group:
Anling mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Hui of Han 34.4228949°N 108.8413168°E
- Tomb of Empress Zhang Yan
- Tomb of Marquis Zhang Ao (father of Empress Zhang Yan) 34.4277446°N 108.8512088°E
- Tomb of Princess Lu of Yuan (mother of Empress Zhang Yan)
Changling mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Gaozu of Han 34.4346913°N 108.8766468°E
- Tomb of Empress Lü 34.4338241°N 108.8812924°E
- Tomb of Consort Qi
Yangling mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Jing of Han 34.4438228°N 108.9407838°E
- Tomb of Empress Wang 34.4462913°N 108.9475001°E
Baling mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Wen of Han (The tomb of the Emperor himself does not feature a pyramidal mound, due to his death wish)
- Tomb of Empress Dou 34.2358251°N 109.1186142°E
- Tomb of Empress Dowager Bo 34.2209934°N 109.0963411°E
Duling mausoleum group:
- Tomb of Emperor Xuan of Han 34.1810627°N 109.0223122°E
- Tomb of Empress Wang 34.1789507°N 109.0283955°E
- Tomb of Empress Xu 34.1273398°N 109.0557862°E
- Tomb of Emperor Wen of Sui 34.28785°N 108.02289°E
- The Nanlianhu Altar (南凉虎台) 36.6328694°N 101.7461228°E
Mausoleum of Emperor Xiaojing of Tang near Goushi, Henan
- Tomb of Emperor Xiaojing of Tang 34.63276°N 112.81109°E
- Tomb of Empress Ai
Imperial mausoleums complex of Song dynasty in and around Gongyi, Henan
- Shaohao Tomb in Qufu, Shandong – a small pyramid
- Inner Mongolian pyramid, situated about 1 km (0.62 mi) north of Sijiazi (四家子) Town, Aohan County (敖漢旗), vestige of the Hongshan culture. The site of Niuheliang contains a pyramidal structure too.
- The eighteen mausoleums of the Tang Dynasty emperors (唐十八陵) in the valley of the Wei River north of the Qin Mountains(秦岭). Some are among the biggest Chinese mausoleums, such as Qianling (乾陵), joint tomb of Emperor Gaozong of Tang and of the Empress Wu Zetian. It is a natural hill shaped by man.
- Janggun-chong (Jiangjunzhong 將軍塚) Step Pyramid in Jilin, “Tomb of the General“, is supposed to be the mausoleum of King Jangsu (Ko. 장수왕 Ch. 長壽王) (413-491), king of Goguryeo, an ancient Korean kingdom. It belongs to the Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom on the World heritage list. Nearby is the Taewang-neung / Taiwangling (태왕릉, 太王陵) Pyramid believed to be the burial of King Gwanggaeto the Great (Ko. 광개토태왕; Ch. 廣開土太王) (391-413); while twice bigger than Janggun-chong, it is in bad shape and Janggun-chong is touted as the touristic highpoint of the site.
- The Western Xia tombs of the Tangut Empire near Yinchuan in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwestern China, a large number of tombs covering some 50 km2 (19 sq mi) are referred to as ‘Chinese Pyramids’.
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