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Leitai Han Tomb

Leitai Han Tomb

Han Tomb of Leitai is located in the old Leitai Park of Wuwei. The tomb consists of 19.34 m long passage, 3 coffin chambers and 3 side chambers. There were 231 gold, silver, bronze, iron, jade, bone and pottery articles, and 99 bronze warriors and horses excavated from here, among which the Bronze Galloping Horse is the most valuable.

The tomb is situated in Leitai Park so called, as there was a Temple built to honor the Chinese god Leishen on the ten-meter high earth platform that was erected during the middle Ming Dynasty. The inscription on the tomb shows that it was constructed circa 186-219BC for an officer from Zhangye, another major town on the Silk Road. The tomb comprises three main chambers of brick construction placed one behind the other. Each room has a smaller annex on each of its sides. This has proved to be a very important find as the tomb contained some two hundred and thirty outstanding relics of gold, silver, copper and jade as well as pottery. The funerary artifacts included ninety-nine copper chariots complete with horses and soldiers.

  Leitai is a place for sacrificing the Thunder god, it is famed with the Temple of the Thunder God (Leishen) which was built on the terrace in mid Ming dynasty. According to the record on the horse chest of the horse tomb figure unearthed, it was the tomb of "Shou Zhang Ye Zhang Zhang Jun" (General Zhang of Zhang Ye) built between 186 to 219 A.D. Of all the unearthed pieces, the bronze galloping horse is of the greatest artistic level. The Bronze Galloping Horse is known in Chinese as 'Ma Chao Long Que', the horse is depicted in a full gallop supported on just one foot upon the back of a bird in flight. The statuette is roughly 35 centimeters high and 45 centimeters long, weighing 7 kilograms. The artist is unknown but the vitality and exquisite modeling of the piece has meant that it has been adopted as a symbol for Chinese tourism. The horse may be seen in the Gansu Provincial History Museum.

 Also there are over 10 ancient buildings of the Ming and Qing dynasties on the terrace such as the Hall of Lei's Ancestors, Hall of Orion's Belt, Hall of Triones, etc. With a grand scale, fine architecture, towering up ancient trees and rippling wavelets, it is a famous tourist area in Wuwei.

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