King of Chu Tomb, Xuzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

king of chu tomb xuzhou

The King of Chu Tomb (狮子山楚王陵), situated on Lion Mountain in the urban area of Xuzhou City, has captivated archaeologists and history enthusiasts alike since its discovery by the renowned archaeologist Wang Kai. This archaeological marvel reveals the mysteries of an ancient era, shedding light on the burial practices and opulent lifestyle of the Chu kingdom during the Western Han Dynasty.

The identity of the tomb’s occupant remains somewhat enigmatic, with suggestions pointing towards the possibility of it being the resting place of Liu Wu, the third generation King of Chu during the Western Han Dynasty (though subject to debate). It is believed that, in the aftermath of the “Rebellion of the Seven States,” Liu Wu faced defeat in battle and, to prevent implicating his family, chose the path of self-sacrifice, leading to a hurried and possibly incomplete burial. Despite its vast scale, various pieces of evidence indicate that the tomb might not have been entirely finished.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket PriceIncluded in the ticket of Han Culture Scenic Area, which costs 90 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.00 (1st April – 31st October)
8.30 – 16.30 (1st November – 31st March)
Telephone Number0086-0516-83566263

Location and Transportation

The King of Chu Tomb is located in the Yunlong District of Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, at 1 Bingmayong Road. To get there, you can choose one of the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 49, 65, 71, 79, 92, 97, 605, or 608 and get off at Chuwangling Stop (楚王陵站).

Metro: The closest metro station to King of Chu Tomb is Huangshanlong (黄山垅) on line 1. After getting out of the station from Exit 1, walk about 800 meters to the southwest to reach the attraction.

Highlights of King of Chu Tomb

Enormous Project

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The tomb complex encompasses a series of interconnected components, including burial paths, courtyards, inner burial passages, corridors, ear chambers, side chambers, coffin chambers, and accompanying burial sites. The entire structure spans 117 meters in length, 13.2 meters in width, and covers an area of over 850 square meters, with a remarkable 5100 cubic meters of carved stone. It stands as the largest tomb ever unearthed in Xuzhou, with an unparalleled richness in excavated artifacts.

Numerous Artifacts

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In 1984, the tomb yielded an extraordinary find of over four thousand terracotta soldiers and horses, reminiscent of the famed terracotta army in Xi’an. Among the treasures unearthed, the golden-threaded jade garment stands out as the finest in China’s archaeological history, boasting superior jade quality, the highest number of jade pieces, and impeccable craftsmanship. Additionally, the tomb revealed a treasure trove of hundreds of jade artifacts, nearly 300 seals, and seal impressions, a collection rarely seen in domestic archaeological discoveries.

Layout of the Tomb

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The architectural brilliance of the King of Chu Tomb is evident in its emulation of an above-ground palace structure, characterized by its complex design and distinctive features. The tomb follows a symmetrical north-south axis layout, comprising three tiers of exposed vertical burial paths, courtyards, ear chambers, burial gates, corridors, side chambers, front halls, and rear halls. The twelve varied-sized chambers include facilities such as kitchens, bathing rooms, royal storerooms, enemy storerooms, treasury rooms, seal rooms, front halls, coffin chambers, chambers for ritual and music, and even burial chambers for the king’s consorts. This comprehensive array of facilities vividly reconstructs the extravagant lifestyle of the Western Han King of Chu, underscoring the prevalent burial ethos of treating death as an extension of life during the Han Dynasty.

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