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Home > Destinations > Shaanxi> Xian > Xianyang Museum

Xianyang Museum

Xianyang Museum is about 28km way from Xian. It was originally a Ming Dynasty Confucian temple (built in 1371), was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1962. The museum mainly focuses on the historic artifacts of the Qin and Han dynasties. Seven exhibition halls of the museum house 15,000 or more cultural artifacts, out of which 4,000 are now on display.

The exhibits in the first exhibition hall of the Xianyang Museum concentrate on the production tools, weapons, weights and measures, and articles of daily use from the Qin Dynasty. Iron ploughs, iron hoes and other iron tools were widely used in the Qin kingdom between the Spring & Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. There is a suggestion that the metallurgical industry developed rapidly at that time. The extensive use of iron tools marked a new phase in the progress of productive forces.

The second exhibition hall mainly contains the cultural artifacts unearthed from the site of Palace No. 1 of the Qin capital, Xianyang. The site lies in the northern part of Yaodian in Xianyang. The western part of the site was excavated between 1974 and 1975. A variety of construction materials, such as bricks, tiles and eave tiles were unearthed at the ruins of the palace. They are hard and solid and most are gray in color. The hollow bricks which are new archaeological finds were used for pavement. Most of the unearthed cultural artifacts are board tiles, roll tiles, and eave tiles with a variety of designs.

The third exhibition hall mainly contains the cultural artifacts unearthed from the site of Palace No. 3 in Xianyang. Palace No. 3 is situated to the southwest of Palace No. 1, and they are about 100 meters apart. It covers an area of 7,020 square meters. On display in this exhibition hall are the fragmentary mural paintings unearthed from the site of Palace No. 3. The fragments are composed of straight lines, curve lines and geometric veins of red, yellow, blue, black and other mineral colors. They are the earliest frescos ever found in the process of archaeological excavation in China. They were painted on the walls of the corridors in the palace, reflecting the travel activities and etiquette of the Qin Dynasty. The fragments have some obvious stain of smoke, giving evidence to the record that Xiang Yu burnt the Qin Palace to ashes for three months. Printed pottery wares are also on display in this hall. They are engraved with names of people, and names of places such as xianli and xianting. We may deduce from this that there were then workshops and workers specialized in producing these items. This group of pottery wares was most probably made for the imperial court and sent there from different parts of the country. The makers would be easily found and severely punished if the pottery was considered low quality or off standard.

The exhibits in the fourth exhibition hall involve the culture artifacts from the Western Han Dynasty. The iron farm implements and the grains in the pottery granary show the wide implement of iron tools and the popularization of plowing by cattle in the Han Dynasty, which rapidly revived and enhanced the development of agriculture in the country. Pottery cattle, horse, pigs and sheep on display here serve as evidence of the development of animal husbandry in the Han Dynasty.

The main exhibits in the fifth and sixth exhibition halls are the painted pottery warriors unearthed from a Han tomb in Yangjia Wan, one of the satellite tombs of Changling Mausoleum, where Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, was buried. About 70 meters south of the tomb, a large number of painted pottery figures were discovered in 1965.

The archaeologists sorted out 3,000 pottery warriors from ten pits in the tomb. They were known as "an army of three thousand strong". Judging from the unearthed artifacts and date of the tomb, it is estimated that the tomb occupant is, most probably, either Zhou Bo or Zhou Yafu. Both of them, father and son, once served as supreme military commanders during the Western Han Dynasty. These pottery warriors are of great value to the study of the Western Han Dynasty in the areas of military formation, artistic carving, dressing style and personal adornment.

On display in the seventh exhibition hall are the cultural artifacts unearthed from the tombs of Western Han emperors. Nine out of the eleven Western Han emperors were buried in the area of Xianyang tableland. There are 500 tombs altogether, including the imperial mausoleums and their satellite tombs. The tombs are scattered in a range extending about 100 miles. Although they have not been excavated, cultural artifacts are occasionally discovered.

Xianyang Museum is one of the most-watched attractions in Xiangyang City. It is known as the window to see through the Qin and Han dynasties' civilization.

Address: No. 53, Zhongshan Street (Zhongshan Jie), Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province, China

Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00

Bus Routes: there are many buses reach Xianyang Museum or nearby the museum such as No.19, 25, 7, 39 (from the train station), 11, 12, 13, 14, 1, 59 (from Daqing Lu), 9.

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