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Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

BY :Sophia&Yuan

UPDATED :May 22, 2019

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After eight years of construction, the Southern Han Mausoleum Museum in Guangzhou will open today (May 17, 2019), bringing visitors back to the Nanhan Regime over 1,000 years ago.

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

刘氏世系表

The short-lived Southern Han regime was established in Guangzhou during the Five Dynasties and Ten States (902-979) period. Liu Yin, one of the founders, was said to be named the governor and military officer by the emperor of Tang dynasty in 905.

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

After Liu Yin’s death, his brother Liu Yan took over the leadership, established the new regime with Guangzhou as the capital, and declared himself emperor. The territory of Southern Han dynasty stretched north to today’s Hunan province, west to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and south to Hainan Island.

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

Between 2003 and 2004, two mausoleums were unearthed at Xiaoguwei in Guangzhou’s Panyu District. They were found to be the Deling Mausoleum of emperor Liu Yin and the Kangling Mausoleum of emperor Liu Yan of the South Han dynasty. The discovery of these two mausoleums was listed as one of China's top-ten archaeological discoveries of 2004.

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

 

The Mausoleum where emperor Liu Yin was buried is located on the northern slope of the Qinggang Hill. It was mistaken in multiple historical materials as the resting place (i.e. the Kangling Mausoleum) of emperor Liu Yan, until the real Kangling Mausoleum emerged nearby with a convincing grave stone inscription.

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty釉陶罐

Celadon pots and glazed ceramic jars excavated from Deling Mausoleum

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

Although emperor Liu Yin's Deling Mausoleum had been looted many times by graverobbers, 190 celadon pots and 82 glazed ceramic jars, all produced in the imperial kilns, were still found.

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华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

The Kangling Mausoleum, in which emperor Liu Yan was buried in 942, is situated on the southern slope of the Daxiang Hill, only 800 meters away from Deling. It covers an area of 12.8 thousand square meters, with an underground coffin chamber. Dozens of relics were unearthed, such as porcelain boxes, glass bottles and ceramic fruits.

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

The findings at the two mausoleums are of great value for the study on the history of the Southern Han dynasty.

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

Archeologists believe that the glass bottle unerathed was somehow brought here from Persia, as Guangzhou was one of the starting points of the ancient Maritime Silk Road and Sino-foreign exchanges were frequent at that time.

 

华南地区唯一皇陵博物馆,今日开馆啦!Excavation of the mausoleums of Nanhan dynasty

 

The Southern Han Mausoleum Museum is constructed on the site of the two mausoleums, featuring a new classic architecture style that combines the characteristics of both classical Chinese imperial architecture in Tang dynasty and local Cantonese architecture. It is going to be the only museum based on imperial mausoleums in South China.

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