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Chinese Culture >> Travel Reviews

Chinese Pyramids

Historically China is well known for things like the
Great Wall of China, its colorful culture and of course its superb china ware and silk. It is not very well known for its Pyramids, while China has a large number of pyramids, possibly over a 100. Most of them are located in a 70-mile area around the city of Xi'an. This has mostly been unknown by the outside world. As China opens up this may change.

The first photo of a Chinese pyramid was taken on July 4, 1945 at the end of World War II. The Pyramid is located in the Qin Ling Mountain Range about 70 miles Southwest of Xi'an. For security reasons the photo was kept a closely guarded secret of the US Military for 45 years before it became public knowledge. They represent perhaps the earliest photo record of these structures and the plains around this ancient political center were found to be dotted with them. A few have base dimensions twice those of the more famous Egyptian pyramids.

Although few Western scholars or travelers have seen any evidence of these structures, German researcher Hartwig Hausdorf is one who claims to have been close to them. He contends that there are more than 100 pyramids throughout the region, that they were originally constructed of clay, and that they have become stone hard over the centuries.

The oldest and largest pyramid is regarded as Qin Ling (circa 210 B.C.), the fifteen-story-tall burial mound of Shi Huang-di, builder of the Great Wall and first emperor of China. The other mounds are imperial burial sites from later eras, mainly the Western and Eastern Han Dynasty (A.A. 24-221). Best estimates are that the newly "discovered" pyramid is at least 2000 years old. Few of the pyramids have ever been explored by western tourists.

Location: Xi'an, Shaanxi Province - China.  

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