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What In The World--The Xia Tombs in China

Updated on October 1, 2011
One of the Xia Tombs
One of the Xia Tombs | Source

by Christine B.

This planet is made up of many esoteric and strange things. Some of these oddities might be considered paranormal by those who don’t believe as I do that the paranormal is actually normal. “Normal” is a relative term, after all. What is normal for some would be abnormal for others. It’s all in how you look at it.

These bee-hived shaped tombs are prolific at the foot of the Helan Mountains in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwestern China. Archeologists have unearthed nine major mausoleums and over 250 minor tomb structures in the area. These buildings take up an area of about 40 square kilometers.

The tombs are believed to be the resting place of the emperors of the Xia Dynasty, which ruled this area of China from 1038-1227 AD.

The strange looking structures were discovered in 1972, and it is believed that there are many more that have yet to be unearthed.

Although these tombs have not been as popular or as famous as their Egyptian counterparts, some of them are larger, occupying an area of more than 100,000 square meters. The Western Xia structures are constructed of two architectural units, gardens that surround the mausoleums that are above the ground, and the “palaces” beneath the tomb edifices. Stone inner and outer walls surround the gardens. At all four corners watchtowers were constructed.

Because the tombs had been looted it hasn’t been possible to verify the identities of their ancient occupants. However, many artifacts have been found inside the tombs, including ornaments on gold belts, gilt saddle parts, gilt amour plates, gilt silverware, bamboo carvings and others.

These tombs are located in a desert terrain… therefore, one of the questions once must ask again is where did the large stones that were used in the building of the tombs come from and how were they moved into position using the rudimentary tools of the time period? Another question also comes to mind… why build all of these structures in the first place? Why not build the easier form of a rectangle or square structure? Why not bury the rulers underground like the other community members would have been? And finally, where are the other community members buried? No other burial sites have been discovered in the area. So many unanswered questions . . .


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