- Empress Dowager Wenming tomb
The Empress Dowager Wenming tomb is the final resting place of Empress Feng (442-490), formally Empress Wenming and the wife of Emperor Wencheng of the
Northern Wei Dynasty. The tomb and is located on the famed Silk Route. When her husband died in 465, Empress Dowager Wenming became regent until her stepson, Emperor Xiaowen, attained his adulthood. While Emperor Xiaowen assumed the imperial powers upon adulthood, she remained highly influential until her death in 490.cite web
title=Empress Feng: Bringing Han Traditions into Northern Wei Dynasty
publisher=All China's Women's Federation
accessdate=2008-01-01] This was at the time Buddhism became a state religion and Empress Dowager Wenming was responsible for the imperial shrines at
Yungang Grottoes. [cite web
title=Monuments in the Desert: A Note on Economic and Social Roots of the Development of Buddhism along the Silk Road
accessdate=2008-01-01] There is evidence that The Empress Dowager Wenming masterminded the transformation of the government and the
first =Sherry J.
title =Presence and Presentation: Women in the Chinese Literati Tradition | place=
publisher =Palgrave Macmillan
location =Westbury, NY
isbn = 031221054-X] cite book
first =Dorothy C.
title =Chinese Steles: Pre-Buddhism and Buddhist Use of a Symbolic Form | place=
publisher =University of Hawaii Press
isbn = 082482783-X]
When the Empress died she was buried with extraordinary honors. Emperor Xiaowen was distraught and could not eat or drink for five days.
. It sits on hilly ground along with other royal tombs. It was excavated in 1976 and has been the subject of scholarly research.cite book
title=Chinese Architecture -- The Three Kingdoms, Western and Eastern Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties
edition= English Ed.
publisher=Yale University Press
pages= p 74–76
id= ISBN 0-300-09559-7 ]
The double-chambered royal tomb, with its distinctive architecture, is dug into the side of a hill. It was created in the period before the capital of the Northern Wei moved to
Luoyang. Over her bricked tomb was built a huge mound almost 33 metres high with a square base. Leading down from the mound was a diagonal ramp leading into an antechamber, then through a connective passageway to a large burial chamber. The total length of the interior was almost 18 metres, larger than any tomb in the area and one of the largest tombs of the Weiexcavated so far. The walls were covered with reliefsculptures. As mentioned, this royal tomb has two chambers, the first an anteroom to which the bricked pathway led. Single chamber tombs were more common for nonroyal burials.
The anteroom had a simple
barrel vaultroof. However, the roof of the burial chamber in the back had a cofferceiling that, although vaulted, had a flat wooden beamed top. A stone Hall of Eternal Resoluteness was built 600 metres to the south of the tomb with a walkway lined with stelaewith inscriptions of funerarytext and lined with sculptures of animals. A wall enclosed the whole funerary area with the entrance marked by free standing gate towers (" que"). The tomb is oriented on a north-south axis with the tomb's entrance on the south.
* [http://www.chinatoday.com.cn/English/e2004/e200405/p54.htm Ethnic Emperor and Advocate of Sinicization]
* [http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/dlancash/chineseworks/Chapter59.pdf A Note on Chapter 59 of the Wen-Ming Hsiao-Shih (A Brief History of Enlightenment]
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Empress Feng (Wencheng) — Empress Feng (馮皇后, 冯宁) (442 490), formally Empress Wenming (文明皇后, literally the civil and understanding empress ) was an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. Her husband was Emperor Wencheng. After her husband s death in 465, she… … Wikipedia
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