1200 Year Old Tomb Opened! - Raiders of the Lost Art - Archaeology DocumentaryAug 13, 2022
near the city of xi'an in northwestern china stands a vast ancient mausoleum the graveyard of the powerful tang dynasty the tang dynasty must have been one of the most powerful empires in the pantanesi world lasts for over 300
years and when it was Chinese look back consider this spirit to be one of the most powerful dynasties in their history. It was here in 1960 that a team of Chinese archaeologists made an extraordinary discovery by uncovering a
tombor other remains that are capable of corroborating texts made by epigrapher archaeologists and incredibly excited researchers in china
openedone of the smallest
tombs it belonged to a young princess who had lived over twelve hundred
years before what they found inside astounded them is one of the largest tan denis they have uncovered so far are archaeological discoveries very important vital to our understanding of life and the afterlife in the language dynasty was a test gold but not a silver or gold one the treasure was on the walls the first session of the wall painting shows the official guardian guiding the tomb and the second part of the melody deals with his personal life and the last session of the wall painting which is where the coffin was found has a creation of an afterlife giving it the spaces that would be appropriate for it an amazing find in those death chambers they found life the terracotta army one of the wonders of ancient china thousands of warriors forces acrobats and musicians all buried in the ground to accompany the first emperor of china in the afterlife was discovered by accident in 1974. since then the terracotta army has become a unesco world heritage site and one of the top destinations most popular tourist sites in modern china, but just 60 miles away is another imperial china burial ground.
Past and Other Wonder The murals discovered in the tombs of the Chennai Mausoleum offer an unprecedented glimpse into life during the Tang Dynasty The Golden Era in Chinese history when they ruled an empire greater than Rome's The Great Dynasty began in the year 618 the last emperor had been assassinated china was mired in civil war but out of the chaos a new ruling family arose really began with the family seizing power from the
lostdynasty in decline china has suffered a nearly 500 year civil war so little after the tang dynasty unified china again it developed a rapid economic and then cultural rapidity the tang dynasty ruling family the lee family were turkish speaking aristocratic family from the northwestern regions of china the new dynasty would rule china for almost three centuries was an era of progress and stability art and literature flourished as did science and technology and Tang capital Xi'an became the largest city on the planet today The modern metropolis of Xi'an is built on the site Little remains of the Tang capital but the Great Wild Goose Pagoda in the south of the city is Dating from the mid-seventh century, o ne offers a hint of Xi'an's
lostgreatness, the original capital of the city would have been completely razed by the end of the dynasty, today you wander the city walls, you can still have an idea, get an idea of this. amazing city the tang capital had dozens of huge and well patronized temples some of the towers and pagodas being built would have been up to 60 or 70 meters tall huh you know its an amazing landmark on a xian skyline being the capital of the in all the planet is home to many merchants and religious people and even visitors from all over the world its name meant perpetual peace but xi'an was the center of a vast empire the influence of the tang extended to modern vietnam and korea in the east and afghanistan in the west, at the zenith of the empire, more than 50 million people lived under tang rule, emperors commanded armies of five hundred thousand professional soldiers, but tang dominance in central asia was not unchallenged, rebellions and incursions were a constant threat and to the west lay an even greater enemy: the mighty Tibetan empire.
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1200 year old tomb opened raiders of the lost art archaeology documentary...
For centuries, the two powers vied for dominance. Sometimes, they would settle their differences through diplomacy and marriage, but other times, just a military solution would suffice. be cycles of invasion and occupation counterattack and rebellion control of the trade routes was also fiercely contested by the powerful tang armies where the triumph of the dynasty was based on the flow of goods on the movement of people and the exchange of ideas don't forget that the ruling family of the Tang dynasty, even within their DNA and their cultural history, had these strong ties to the nomadic peoples and that continued into the way the Tang dynasty was structured.
These connections and the signs of these connections became part. of the tang dynasty royalty, so for example receiving ambassadors and receiving merchants from foreign countries became a way for the tang dynasty They were reflections on themselves, culture, trade, ideas, technology, almost all the aspects of life in Tang dynasty China was connected to a larger regional cultural economy well the term dynasty took on all these new material forms and crafts for example glass gold and silver and also new religions like Buddhism . thirushanism and malarkeyism people luxury items all sorts of things were constantly in and out the tang established sea routes to persia to egypt to mesopotamia and beyond but it was overland the greatest treasures flowed along a legendary trade route to the west the route The Zhen Ling Mausoleum in northwest China is a window into another era.
Of the 19 tombs in the complex, only those of Princess Yong Tai and four others have been
opened, but on murals found in the 17th century. VII, the heyday of the Tang dynasty comes to life in stunning detail and color scenes depicting a rich and diverse society where customs goods and fashions from foreign countries were welcomed, integrated, reinterpreted and made into something unique, a melting pot impossible to imagine without the network of trade routes that linked tang china and the world the silk road stretched from the west of the tang capital of xi'an his caravan of merchants b skirted the mountain ranges of central asia crossed the valleys of afghanistan and crossed the karakum desert and on and on towards the caspian sea the black sea and europe beyond the silk road is a term coined by a german geographer von richtoben a late 19th century to refer to an extensive network or nodes used for trade essentially in the medieval period sometime between the 3rd and 4th century and up to around the period of the Mongol conquest of the 13th to 14th century, so about a thousand years of medieval history secret role is mainstream to make tang dynasty financially and culturally prosperous sigrow is actually a path for communication, migration and traits that need to be used again k in history is a network complex of oasis cities that essentially link china with the central and western parts of asia the people who dominated the silk road are the sagdians the chinese t ang language state invested heavily in silk road infrastructure because they wanted to, valued imports, and valued the import-export business, but the actual trade was dominated by central asians rather than by the tang chinese themselves along the route itself.
The silk road that connected Tang China to the west originated centuries before. The Greeks under Alexander. the great ones had advanced east to india two centuries later their descendants in central asia were welcomed by the chinese embassies of the great han dynasty followed a chinese military presence in the region securing the first open trade route across the continent the han coveted the horses bred farther west, which were stronger and faster than their native breeds, Chinese luxury, like silk, passed through the other side going from merchant to merchant over thousands of miles making many rich along the way, but such a lucrative trade route was hotly contested.
All the powers in the region wanted peace and opportunistic bandits were always ready to attack the unprotected and unsuspecting. The Han dynasty fell in the 3rd century, the Roman empire would also soon fracture. The silk road would be closed. It was not until the Tang unified China and expanded back into Central Asia in the seventh century. They were more than silk that was traded throughout the circle. There was also glass, gold and silver. The development of Chinese cuisine, including spices and new fruits such as melons, grapes, and nuts, is also very important. that Chinese wine is usually made from rice or soybeans, many other things besides silk moved through the silk road, including things to do with medicine ideas people war luxuries all kinds of things is very interesting from painting mural we discovered a lot of evidence about during this time china has adopted a lot of central asian cultural activity for example the first time we see the chinese home portal this all never happened in china before probably the most important set of ideas that traveled throughout the the silk road to china would have been buddhism there are all kinds of sutras that came from india and triggered and stimulated a new interest in this particular religion and faith it was a great stimulus to the history of ideas in medieval china along with religious ideas also brought new architectural plans such as the buddhist pagoda to china there are also new decorative elements such as the very popular pearl borders that They were used extensively in the city's dynasty textiles The Silk Road enriched the Tang dynasty in more ways than one and made control of the empire an even more tempting prize for the ruthless and ambitious r There was no one more ruthless and ambitious than the woman who ascended from courtesan to the highest throne in the land one of the most extraordinary figures in chinese history wu zertien was born in 624 her family was wealthy and one of the first patrons of the new tang regime who saw her place at court emperor's junior concubine imperial was 14 years old watched learned and waited for her time Wizardchien started as a concubine of the second city emperor dynasty emperor time but she must be a very charming woman that's why after thai emperor tai zhong's death , the tai zhongsun emperor gao zhong took her back to court as his concubine at that time and later became the empress unfortunately five or years later emperor gauton was cherished so after that jyotin seized power and became empress dodger and eventually proclaimed herself emperor of chiana she would have retained a lot of power behind the curtain as its called but clearly not wishing to give it up, her husband Emperor Gaution faded away and died in 683.
Her son inherited the throne, but he proved too independent for his mother, and she deposed him after only two months. exiled and installed her younger brother as her puppet in 690, then removed him as well and seized supreme power herself was the only woman in Chinese history to actually become emperor, led the state for over 40 years in first officially as an empress and then proclaimed herself emperor, it is important to say that this is also one of the great flowering times of Chinese culture, she was a great patron of arts and religion, and many of the religious organizations and Artists would have prospered and prospered under her patronage, but she was ruthless and clearly very power hungry and also quite insecure and did not hesitate to execute, demote or banish anyone who stood up to her secr. et police suppressed any dissent ancient and powerful families that could threaten her were suppressed instead she promoted those whose allegiance would be hers alone but the imperial court soon became a nest of factions vying for favor the wrong word in the wrong ear could mean death and even his closest family was uncertain on his rise to power.
Woozer tien is said to have killed her infant daughter to frame and discredit a rival when she was emperor. She hadn't lost any of that calculating brutality as her granddaughter, the Yong princess. Chai would soon discover in the early 8th century that China was ruled by an aged despot. Wu Zertien had begun life at court as a lowly concubine, but through cunning and brutality she had seized power, deposed her own sons, and declared a new dynasty. the empress was getting old, however, she trusted hers more and more. two lovers of hers, the chang brothers, yiki and zhang jiang, the changs became powerful and made enemies among those they desired. fighting against the brothers were two of wu zertien's grandsons, the teenagers, prince yidae, and princess yong-tai, obviously the young thai girl was said to be a great beauty, and if she stood by the plum blossoms , the plum blossoms would look drab.
Prince eda's name is lee chong. run, he is a grandson of emperor gaozon and empress wuzza tien, but when the empress with zatian was in thepower, he got into trouble by criticizing his grandmother's unusually close relationship with two main offices and her trust towards them, he displayed what would have been considered highly corrupt behavior by favoring his favorites with business deals and status titles that essentially elevate them far beyond its value. Usually, he discovered a Yong Tai princess and her brother and her husband talk about her private life behind her back. He became very upset with his youth and his family. the connections were not a defense wooza tien's revenge was quick yida yong tai and her husband were sentenced to death there were different records about his death so the prince supposedly was king until death but there are different stories about death Of the princess. archaeologist and scholars have discovered that her brother and husband would die just one day before her so this coincidence seems unlikely to happen, she died in childbirth so now most scholars have agreed that she was cured by his own grandmother's water team, but Woozatien's hold on power was slipping despite the risks.
A plot was hatched to eliminate their favorites the hated shang brothers when he fell ill in early 705 the conspirators made their move the brothers were assassinated and the ailing empress forced to abdicate the son she had deposed 20 years earlier claimed the throne the dynasty of woo zertien had finished old crimes were erased with him, princess yong tai and her brother were buried again. Magnificent new tombs were built for them. A resounding statement of the break with the old regime. The tombs are exceptionally large to begin with, sometimes several hundred meters by several hundred meters. Both movies share the same thing. structure with two large tomb chambers below a truncated mound above ground and these setting chambers were connected with a short corridor and were a Accessed by a sloping tomb passage with an opening at ground level, remember we are in a world of sanctuary laws here where, according to your status in the social hierarchy, that determines what kind of luxury you can be and should have for everything in life and in Death and Princess Yong Tai were treated with similar great honors those of an empress.
The great tombs of Princess Yong Tai and her brother were sealed in the year 705, but as the decades and centuries passed, the ways to enter were forgotten. All of these tombs are basically all marked by a large spiritual path flanked by large stone statues that lead to either two huge mounds or an actual mountain. Originally, there would be guards, guardians, and guardians living on the spot, but once a dynasty has fallen, there's no reason for that and gradually you know, it would have merged with the landscape, it can be very difficult to locate exactly where exactly the two are. chambers, either underground under a large tomb mound or inside a large mountain, so if you see the large mound there but still don't know where you dig from and to locate the tomb chambers where everything is buried, most of the tang tungs were rediscovered shortly after the chinese cultural revolution started to open up to the outer wall so they need more hotel accommodation to accommodate visitors so they have big construction work everywhere in china and this is the main period a large number of tang tung have been discovered archaeologists began the first scientific excavations of the chen ling mausoleum in the 1960s, the prince and The teenage princess would have been buried with a treasure trove of gold, silver and jade but that was nowhere to be found in their graves, it has been looted and lost in the many centuries since the Chennai area tombs were likely looted in the end from the Tang dynasty or soon after, I think most stories are that it was probably soldiers or bandits who would have done the looting. they can only take what is portable they probably couldn't have taken very heavy objects like heavy sarcophagus or very heavy bells so they would have gone for valuables things made eg silver all objects made of precious materials such as silver gilt or jade were taken, for example, in the tomb of prince zhang huai there was a jade book with a golden inscription indicating his identity, so the jade book was broken into pieces and taken away and only fragments remained in the tomb, but the robbers were fewer.
Interested in pottery, hundreds of ceramic figures were left alone in the tomb of the young princess Chai and there was something else: the assailants did not steal the impressive frescoes that covered the walls of the tomb. The first section of the wall painting depicts the official guardian guarding the tomb and the second part of the tomb deals with his personal life and th The last section of the wall painting which is where the coffin was found, which is painted on the tombs are all things the occupant will need in the afterlife, so if that means, for example, they must be accompanied by a dozen beautiful ladies. on standby then they must be painted there if that also means they must have bodyguards of musicians and dancers if they must be able to witness grand military parades and shows if they must live in fantastic buildings and be fed wonderful food all media must be there we don't know the names of the artisans who created the wall paintings inside the tombs and also the ceramic figures even though their works are very fine with high quality as they say a picture is worth a thousand words the content of the pictures gives us a way to imagine all sorts of everyday scenes that we would never have been able to conceive otherwise only a few of the language it depends on have survived originally they were painted on silk so this discovery of wall painting helps us understand their everyday life.
What's interesting about the Tang period and these murals is that we're not just looking at an introspective China, we're looking at a China that's fully integrated into a massive regional economy all over Eurasia, which means there would be ambassadors and merchants and merchants and emissaries and all kinds of of other people in the capital at the time and of course they also find their way into these murals on the walls of chen ling's tombs that we see Persian wine glasses and foreign dignitaries we see musicians and instruments from distant lands we see cheetahs and camels and other exotic beasts we see the whole world coming to tang china to trade to pay tribute to serve and make a new life and we see the change also in the status of women the society definitely became more tolerant and vibrant with all the nomadic fashions and there was definitely much less social segregation of women than women in the world. city tennis enjoy a much higher social status in society than in any other period in Chinese history they begin to dress and imitate European style or even Central Asian fashion in many ways in their makeup on their clothing and even in your social life We are still in the medieval period.
It is still a patriarchal system. The place of women is to correspond to that of men. Being demure and not coming out from behind the curtain. come out and talk about aristocratic women, I mean, I imagine that in a larger historical scheme their status was considerably higher and they had more freedom, especially than in the second half of the dynastic period, but this open society wouldn't last forever Even as Tang China reached its zenith, there were forces in the empire that would tear the dynasty apart in the mid-8th century. Tang China was on top of the gold. n era the divisive reign of woo zertien had ended under the rule of his grandson, emperor xian zhang china enjoyed decades of political stability peace and prosperity the tang dynasty must have been one of the most powerful empires in the world, if not the most powerful in the medieval period had a much larger population and had a much higher trading status than compared to any other state at the time.
This very open era in China of all cultural and population exchange fully flourished in the city dynasty. the tombs themselves are a big mark of you know the scale of the tombs know several hundred meters by several hundred meters it is an indication of wealth luxury power and what was the status of china among the regional powers they traded with she who recognized her in December 755 However, disaster struck and Luchan was a powerful general in the Tang army and a favorite of the emperor, but he had a bitter rivalry with the emperor's prime minister after The provocation was too much and Luchan rebelled.
Civil war beckoned in China with the powerful northern garrisons under his command and Luchan advanced south in a matter of months His armies had captured the great city of Puyang There he declared himself the first emperor of a new dynasty The Yan marched forth to changhan the emperor fled the city fell and they fight he couldn't secure the whole country in fact he couldn't even rule his own family in early 757 he was assassinated by his son he in turn was assassinated by a loyalist to the dead general the new the yan dynasty was imploding the rebellion failed but for the tang victory came at a cost the economy was in tatters thousands upon thousands had died and more had been forced to fleeing their homes the capital chang han had been looted the central bureaucracy had been decimated the glue so to speak the thing that held the state together started to fall apart and you start to have militarism, you start to have rebellions, you start to have independent governors and so on.
It is a recipe for disaster for a centralized unified state. A further series of agrarian rebellions finally turned against the dynasty in the early 10th century. The Tang dynasty never recovered from the 756 rebellion. Until 907, when the power and authority of the Tang weakened, so did their control over the western regions, their former rivals the tibetan empire pounced on the silk road that had brought the tang such prosperity was shut down the 9th century saw a series of natural disasters and another devastating uprising against imperial authority this time there would be no recovery In 907 the last Tang emperor was ousted from the throne after ruling China for nearly 300 years.
The Great Dynasty had ended. China entered a new era of political turmoil as the once unified state collapsed into rival kingdoms, but the dynasty triumphs. Tang were not forgotten and although their reign ended over 1100 years ago, the legacy and of tang china can still be felt today the impact on chinese history has been immense they defined many of the institutions and institutional practices that come to help us identify what their culture is i think the child dynasty has really left a lasting legacy in chinese culture it is famous for its literature and its cer Amica, that's also when woodblock printing started in China, so these are all lasting legacies of Chinese material culture, which is still very important in our daily lives if you take, for example, something like the exam of the civil service. system for recruiting officials for the government that was founded in the Han dynasty, but it really only became a meritocracy in the Tang dynasty and towards the middle, towards the end of the Tang dynasty, it starts to have men coming into the government who are often from dark but bright families and a mechanism was found within the system to allow them to rise to the top and become advisers to the Ent government so these kinds of institutional frameworks are very important not to mention things like calligraphy in history from calligraphy essentially at the beginning of the Tang dynasty the modern script that everyone writes today was formed they still talk about a sticker route they still want to revise the circular route so that you can see the new president xi jinping emphasized the so-called one bed one row, this is one to echo their thick rule golden period and when the Chinese look back they consider this period to be one of the most powerful dynasties in its history impressive murals discovered in the tombs of princess yongtai and prince hede have opened our eyes to the wonders of the golden age, but the land may hold even more secrets many of the tombs of the zhen ling mausoleum have not been excavated yet greater treasures may come to illuminate it is a large tomb complex with the largest tombs for emperors and empresses and the smallest, what are called satellite tombs for their brothers or descendants. r for meritorious officials or generals or such people we know the imperial line we know the names of many royals there will certainly be tombs that have not been discovered the main tomb in the singing mausoleum the tomb of the sorceress empress and gaozon emperor they had not yet been excavated.
It is also likely the only intact royal tomb left in the mausoleum. I am sure that there is still a long time for us to discover them because during that time, apart from the royal tombs, they have been found in the xi capital. 'and there are still some high-ranking ones in the future, they have beenburied in different parts of China and this tomb is still waiting to be discovered, we probably expect to see much more fascinating mirror paintings, much more valuable items for example gold and silver in these tombs and also perhaps some very outstanding artistic work such as the work of calligraphy, there is still a legend that a divine piece of calligraphic work by an oriental jean calligrapher was in one of these city dynasties imperial tombs i think the chinese government has a sensible policy of not biting more than it can chew and deal one by one with the main tombs which requires a lot of archeological resources and effort to excavate and then to report on which I think, uh, you know, take it, they should take their time and do it methodically and sensibly, already excavated tang tombs require constant care, 97 of their delicate murals have been moved to the changi history museum in xi'an a There the amazing images of the past preserved for so long underground can be safeguarded for generations to come the murals we have from Tang imperial tombs there is nothing like it in scale or ambition but one of the reasons why people marvel at those imperial language murals is obviously that they can use them as a way of trying to imagine what life was like at court.
There are so many aspects. It's the fashion. There is internationalism. mopolitanism wealth and luxury pointers towards architecture there are so many aspects of life brought to life in these murals what it was like to be a fly on the wall at the princess's court we really wouldn't have much of an idea without these amazing imperial dynasty murals It will be at least decades before the remaining Tang dynasty tombs are opened but the murals already revealed have transformed the way we imagine Tang China, showing us what history books can only tell us that this was a cosmopolitan society. connected to the world and a military superpower unrivaled in its age and though the murals may have faded and its cracked paintings have preserved something more precious than all the treasures that once filled those silent tombs they retain the spark of life you
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