Skip to main content

Unveiling the Lavish 2,000-Year-Old Tomb with Surprising Luxuries

In the realm of archaeology and ancient wonders, a remarkable discovery has left the world astonished. The tomb of this ancient king is believed to be opulent and ahead of its time.

The cluster of tombs of the Han Liang Kings is situated within the national scenic area of Dangshan, Vinh Thanh Mountain, in Hà Nam Province, China. Among them, Liu Wu (known as King Liang or Liu Hieu, the great-grandson of Emperor Liu Bang of the Han dynasty, also known as King Liang) was buried on Mangdang Mountain, which stands 150 meters tall. Upon entering this scenic area, you will immediately notice a series of introductions to famous historical figures in Chinese history, such as Confucius, Tran Thinh, Liu Bang, and Liu Ngo.

![Image 1](insert image URL) Caption: The grand entrance to King Liang’s tomb complex.

Excavations have revealed three underground palaces, which house the tombs of King Liang, his wife, and his son Liu Mai. Liu Mai’s tomb is situated opposite King Liang’s. After the death of King Liang, he divided the kingdom of Liang into five parts for his five sons. Liu Mai was his eldest son but passed away seven years later. His tomb covers an area of only 383 square meters, significantly smaller than his father’s tomb. There are two reasons for this: His descendants couldn’t surpass their father’s wealth, and resources were not abundant.

![Image 2](insert image URL) Caption: The entrance to Liu Mai’s tomb.

Despite not inheriting the same wealth as his father, Liu Mai’s tomb, like King Liang’s, is built into the mountainside. Constructing these Han dynasty tombs required significant financial and human resources to excavate entire mountains. Upon inheriting the title, Liu Mai began constructing his own tomb. Although smaller, it boasts a complete layout, including a spacious entrance, corridors, a main hall, a warehouse, a clothing storage room, a bathroom, a restroom, and a drainage system. What’s even more astonishing is that when the tomb was excavated, Liu Mai was found buried in a suit adorned with gold and jade. This attire is now part of the collection at the Hà Nam Provincial Museum.

![Image 3](insert image URL) Caption: A mural painting inside Liu Mai’s tomb.

![Image 4](insert image URL) Caption: A depiction of a feast inside Liu Mai’s tomb.

Liu Mai’s tomb is situated on the mountainside, approximately 2.3 kilometers away from King Liang’s tomb. King Liang’s tomb covers an area of over 600 square meters, and legend has it that it was filled with an abundance of treasures, including precious gemstones. There are rumors that King Liang’s tomb was looted by Cao Cao, who took away a substantial amount of gold, silver, and precious gems, enough to support his army for three years.

![Image 5](insert image URL) Caption: The entrance to King Liang’s tomb.

In the summer of 144 BC, King Liang passed away suddenly, and his tomb was not completely finished. Workers carved a groove along the corridor’s entrance to accommodate a large number of burial items. Although many rooms remained unfinished, indicating the rushed construction following King Liang’s death, the internal drainage system was perfectly designed.

![Image 6](insert image URL) Caption: The drainage system.

The first task in tomb restoration is repairing the drainage system. Adequate drainage is crucial in underground tombs because failure to address this issue can lead to extensive damage.

This restroom, estimated to be over 2,000 years old, is considered one of the earliest flushing toilets in China, possibly even the world.

Inside King Liang’s tomb, there is an icehouse, a place where they stored vegetables, fruits, and ice. It’s challenging to imagine that ancient Chinese people viewed death as a form of rebirth and prepared everything as if it were for the living.

![Image 9](insert image URL) Caption: The icehouse, similar to a refrigerator.

King Liang ordered mountains to be cut and a tomb to be excavated. This was an incredibly complex project in ancient times. From the massive stones used to block the tomb’s entrance, it’s evident that King Liang displayed opulence through the construction of his tomb. Each stone blocking the tomb’s entrance weighs over a ton, and there are more than 3,000 stones, each inscribed with a number. Craftsmen chiseled these tomb door stones sequentially before gradually retreating outside.

![Image 10](insert image URL) Caption: Massive stones weighing tons.

The practice of burying the living gradually declined during the Han dynasty, and skilled workers could