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Notes on the Geography of China: Han and Tang Imperial Tombs: Photo 7

world pictures China: Han and Tang Imperial Tombs

What a difference 800 years can make.  We've climbed up on Mt. Liang to view Qianling.  It's the burial place of the Emperor Gaozong (d. 684) and of China's only ruling empress, the Empress Wu, Gaozong's widow.  She survived him to rule on her own for 20 years (d. 705).  It was she who insisted that Gaozong be buried here, rather than where he had died and had asked to be buried.  The tunnel entrance, sealed with molten metal, begins half way up the slope and has not been excavated.  In the distance is the innovative Sacred Way, flanked by watchtowers.  Some of the later Han emperors had experimented with a Sacred Way, but Qianling presents the archetype.

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