Tomb of Wang Jian

In the western outskirts of Chengdu lies the Tomb of Wang Jian (847 - 918AD), the Emperor of Former Shu during the Five Dynasties period, unearthed in 1942. It is a key historical site under the State protection.

Wang Jian, a general of the Tang dynasty, was birn in present - day Wuyang, Henan province. In the late years of Tang, when the seperatist military governors engaged in continuous wars, Xizong, the emperor of Tang, fled to Sichuan escorted by General Wang Jian. The Emperor assigned him head of the prefecture of Li, whence he extended his zone of influence and at last control all Sichuan. In 907, the Tang Dynasty collapsed, and Wang Jian proclaimed himself Emperor of Shu.

The tomb is a mound, 15 meters high, 80 meter long, and is divided into 14 stone vaults with three chambers. Wang Jian's coffin is placed in the middle chamber, which is seperated by huge wooden gates from the other two. Relief sculptures of 12 half - length muscular men line both sides, their hands place under the platform as if they were about to lift it up, 24 female musicians and dancers are carved around the coffin platform. This group of stone carvings, which depicts a female band of the Tang Palace, is one of the most com[plete sets known to exist.

A srone statue of Wang Jian is placed on a stone bed in the rear chamber. Some replicas of the unearthed relics are on display here.