China | Luoyang

Tianzi Jialiu Museum Luoyang

China Discovery Tour

Luoyang | China

04 Jan 2020 | Sat

Day 08 of 18

  • Longmen Grottoes
  • Lunch | Traditional Chinese Restaurant Luoyang
  • Luoyang Old Town District
  • Tianzi Jialiu Museum Luoyang
  • High Speed Train | Luoyang to Xian
  • Meet Xian Tour Guide (Rainbow) & Driver
  • Sofitel Xian On Renmin Square Hotel

Tianzi Jialiu Museum Luoyang

Before entering the underground museum of Tianzi Jialiu (Luoyang Emperor Six Horses Carriage Museum) we had no idea what to expect. What we found inside was something quite unique – an archaeological dig site displaying an emperor’s chariot/carriage with the remains of 6 horses attached to it. Our guide explained to us how the horses were sacrificed and buried together with the emperor as he passed on to the afterlife.

Statue of the Six Horses

The museum is built over the sacrificial pit area for the emperors in Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC – 256BC) with its capital at the site of the present-day Luoyang. The burial of the royal horse and chariots here in Luoyang is earlier than that of the Terracotta Warriors during Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.) in Xian.

The city of Luoyang went through thirteen dynasties and 105 emperors starting Xia Dynasty (2070BC-1600BC), Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC), Eastern Zhou Dynasty(770BC-256BC), Beiwei Dynasty (493AD-534AD), Sui Dynasty (605AD-619AD) and more with a history of over 4,000 years!

“Tianzi” means emperors, while “Jialiu” means their chariots driven by 6 horses. The discovery of the Tianzi Jialiu Site has a great impact on Chinese archaeology and history.

It is proof that in the Zhou Dynasty, the emperors had 6 horses to drive their chariots; the vassals 5 horses; the ministers 4 horses; scholar-bureaucrats 3 horses; scholar-officials 2 horses, and Common People 1 horse, a kind of strict etiquette formed in Zhou Dynasty, which had been only recorded in ancient books before it was discovered underground in 2002. So the number of the horses indicated the rank and identity of the nobles.

In 2002, the expansion construction of the Luohe Center Plaza stumbled upon the sacrificial site of the Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits. Its discovery immediately arose the great attention of the local government. A special expert team was set up to access and study the site ending up with a detailed protection proposal.

The construction expansion of Luohe Central Plaza was halted, and a new museum was established. On October 01, 2003, the museum was open to the public. So the horse and chariots site has been there for over 2000 years!

– Website Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits

Archaeological Site with Emperor’s Carriage and Remains of 6 Horses

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