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Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao

The Mausoleum of Princess Zhenxiao (贞孝公主墓) of was made in 793 by the early Bohai Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty, and is a part of the Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain in Jilin. The Mausoleum contains, among other things (see below), the first complete discovered and detailed murals done by Bohai artists, and hence provides valuable insights to historians.

Table of contents

Burial chamber

Excavated in October 1980, the burial chamber is underground. The 105-metre-high chamber is rectangular: 50 26-m, and is covered with blue-green bricks. It contains a 1.05-metre tall, 0.58 0.26-m mugui-shaped (土圭) granite epitaph, on which 728 Chinese characters, in the standard script (楷書) style, are inscribed in 18 horizontal lines.

Mural

The chamber is surrounded by four murals on each wall, depicting thirteen person in action, such as warriors (3), chamber attendants, musicians, and maids, wearing red, blue, yellow, purple, and brown robes. The drawing and painting styles are slightly influenced by those of the Tang Empire.

The princess and companions

The epitaph explains that Princess Zhenxiao is the fourth daughter of King Wen, Da Qinmao. Princess Zhenxiao was also the younger sister of Princess Zhenhui (貞惠). The Princess died in 793, and was buried in the winter. She was given the posthumous name Zhenxiao to qualify her as virtuous and filial. She was likely a horse-rider, as a horse remain was in the chamber.

The skeletal remains are skattered all over the chamber when discovered by archaeologists, due to previous lootings. However, the looters missed several golden copper jewelry, pottery, and figurines. Reconstruction showed that the bones belong to a woman, presumably the princess; but there is also a male, possibly an attendant or child. In addition, there is the horse skeleton.

Other structures

Above the chamber, there is a rectangular pagoda, of which only the base remains.



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