Jan
06
2009

Are there pyramids in China?

JianJunTen (General's Tomb), or the "Pyramid of the East," in Ji'an, near the border with North Korea. - courtesy flickr.com - CC-BY

JianJunTen (General's Tomb), or the "Pyramid of the East," in Ji'an, near the border with North Korea. - courtesy kevsunblush - CC-BY

There was a time when Chinese pyramids were considered speculation and myth but now we can say, yes, there are pyramids in China.  For many years scholars considered chinese pyramids as nothing more than large mounds, but things have changed.

The study of whether or not there are pyramids in China has evolved in two sets of stories.  Most of the earlier stories were based on the existence of the “Great White Pyramid.”

A photo of this pyramid in the Qinling mountains was said to have been taken by Americans in 1945, but it remained in military files for 45 years. Also US Air Force pilot James Gaussman claimed to have seen a white jewel-topped pyramid while flying between India and China during World War II.  However, there is little evidence for this claim.

Then,  In 2000 China stated that there were some 400 pyramids in the Shanxi region. Smaller than the legendary “Great White Pyramid,” these ancient remains have been classified by some as burial mounds.

In 2006 it was announced that Chinese archaeologists discovered a group of ancient tombs shaped like pyramids which dated back at least 3,000 years, in northeast China’s Jilin Province. The tombs covered an area of 500,000 square meters  and were found after water erosion exposed part of a mountain, revealing two of the tombs. Six smaller tombs had eroded away leaving no clue as to their original size and appearance.  But the biggest tomb, located on the south side of the mountain, could clearly be seen as a pyramid shape with three layers from bottom to top.

Some of the pyramids in China are as large as any that can be found in Egypt, Mexico or any other part of the world.  However, one of the problems in studying them is that they are most all in a military restricted region and virtually closed off to outsiders.

Following is a list of Chinese pyramids that are now recognized.

Inner Mongolian pyramid (1 kilometer north of Sijiazi Town, Aohan County)
Maoling Mausoleum
Pyramid of Gathering (Tibet)
Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum
Zangkunchong
Step Pyramid (Ziban)

However, the elusive “Great White Pyramid” is still among the missing.

For more information about ancient China

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  Need research? Quezi's researchers can answer your questions at uclue.com

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