China Information

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Leitai Park


Wuwei City, in Central Gansu, once was a strategic position along the famous Silk Road. In 1969 a farmer discovered a tomb of the Han Dynasty and it has become a main tourism attraction here.

The tomb is situated in Leitai Park, because there is a temple built to honor Chinese God Leishen on a ten-meter high earth platform that was erected during the middle Ming Dynasty. The inscription on the tomb shows that it was constructed during 186-219BC for an officer from Zhangye, another major town on the Silk Road. The tomb is consisted of three main chambers of brick placed one behind another. Each chamber has a small annex on each side. This has been proved as a very important find because the tomb contains 230 renowned relics of gold, silver, copper and jade as well as pottery. The funerary artifacts include 99 copper chariots all with horses and soldiers.

The most important find was the Bronze Galloping Horse. 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 about 35 centimeters high and 45 centimeters long, 7 kilograms heavy. The artist is unknown but the vivid and exquisite model of the piece has meant that it has been a symbol of Chinese tourism. The horse may be seen in the Gansu Provincial History Museum.

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