Guangzhou Museum

Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou Museum


The Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (Chinese: 西汉南越王博物馆 Cantonese: Sai Hon Nam Yuet Wong Mou Bok Mat Gun) houses the 2,000-year-old tomb of the Nanyue King Zhao Mo in Guangzhou. Zhao Mo ruled from 137 BC to 122 BC, and his tomb was discovered in downtown Guangzhou in 1983. The museum, which opened in 1988, showcases the tomb and its complete trove of artifacts. It was named a Major National Historical Site in 1996 and is renowned for its rare assemblage of funerary artifacts representing the diffusion of cultures throughout the Lingnan region during the Han dynasty.

The mausoleum and museum complex occupies an area of 17,400 m2 (187,000 sq ft). Hidden 20 meters (65.6 feet) underground, the tomb is made up of 750 huge stones with colorful murals. The over 1,000 pieces of cultural relics, bronzeware and terra cotta ware in particular, feature the Yue Culture of Lingnan (Nanyue Culture). Represented also are traces of central Chinese culture, the Chu culture of south China, the Bashu culture of southwest China, the culture from the northern grassland, and even foreign cultures.

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