Shaanxi Xian Xianyang city Museum
Xianyang Museum, which was originally a Confucian Temple, was altered, reconstructed and opened to the public in 1962. Xianyang City is 28 kilometers away from Xi'an. It was the capital of the famous Qin Dynasty in Chinese history. Qin Shi-huang, emperor of the Qin Dynasty, gained power in Xianyang and finally established the first centralized power in Xianyang and finally established the first centralized feudal united multi-national state. After the unification of the six kingdoms, the new country was or-dered by Qin Shihuang to build "racing roads". These were wide roads used for the galloping horses and carts. There were three ma-jor roads which radiated from Xianyang. One goes eastward to Hebei, Liaoning and Shandong. Another goes south to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui, and the third to In-ner Mongolian Autonomous Region. The roads played an important r01e in the flow of products, army movements and the consolidation of the country's unification. In order to strengthen the power of the central government, Qin Shihuang gave orders to set up palaces with distinctive features on the northern slope of Xianyang. Here all members of the imperial families from the former six kingdoms were put under house arrest. At the same time,Qin Shihuang had the feudal noble and rich men of almost 20,000 families move to Xi-anyang. Xianyang was already a prosperous metropolis with about one million people at that time.
Xianyang was a vital communication Iine to northwest part of China during the Han Dynasty. It was also the imperial resort area during the Western Han period. Of the eleven emperors of this peri-od nine were buried here. Near the imperial mausoleums, there are also tombs of many imperial kingmen, civil and military officials. Therefore, Xianyang is known for its wealth of cultural and historial relics from both the Qin and the Han dynasties, from above and be-low the ground. Xianyang Museum focuses its exhibition on the his-torical relics of the Qin and the Han dynasties. The construction area is 3,855 square metres and the exhibi-tion area is 1,216 square metres. It houses 15,000 or more cultural relics,out of which 4,000 are on display. The museum consists of seven exhibition areas.The First Exhibition Room
The exhibits in this room concentrate on the production of tools, weapons, weights and measures, and some of the daily ne-cessities in the Qin Dynasty.
Iron ploughs, iron hoes and other iron tools used in the Qin Kingdom between the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, suggest a great development of the metallurgical in-dustry at that time. The extensive use of iron tools marked a new phase in the progress of productive forces. The copper daggers, axes, spears, swords, and other weapons exhibited here give clear evidence to the Qin's unified military pow-er to counter attack against the harassing and intrusions by the Hun Tribe, an ancient nationality in China.
One copper plate carries the imperial edict of 40 Chinese char-acters,by Qin Shihuang, to standarize the system of weights and measures on a national scale. The engraving on metal was due to the non-existence of paper then. This type of copper plate was the first to be found so far in archeological excavation. Anyi Xiagong Bell was unearthed in Ta'er Po in Xianyang in April, 1966. It was a capture when Qin defeated Wei Kingdom, one of the seven powerful states of the Warring States Period and therefore has great historical value. On the edge of the Bell are carved five characters"thirteen dou equals one sheng" which is a measurement of volume. On its neck there is engraved another two words"zhi ci" which means"up to this point", and is indicated by a line. This was done in accordance with the national standard system of weights and measures. After this bell was passed on to the Qin, it provided valuable reference material for the study of the system of weights and measures of the Warring States and the Qin periods. These earthern jars, basins, round and oval pots were daily ne-cessities. The pottery of the Qin Dynasty is characterized by its toughness and durability with little ornamentation.


The Second Exhibition Room
The room mainly contains the unearthed cultural relics from the main palace ruins of the Qin capital in Xianyang. The ruins are situated in the northern part of Yaodian in Xianyang. The western part of these ruins was excavated between 1974 and 1975. There is a model of the palace ruins on display. The results of the excavation reveal that this was a lofty foundation. The architecture symbolizes the supremacy of imperial power in a feudal society. The palace has three floors,consisting of halls, corridors, living and bath rooms, winding lobbies, warehouses and cellars. Fireplaces are also built in-side the palace. The drainage facilities include pottery funnels, round ceramic drainage pipes and elbow joints, which make up an extensive system around the palace.
In ancient China, it was long known to people how to keep and store food at a low temperature. Early in the Zhou Dynasty, the "Ling Yin" was developed to store ice. Archaeological excavation in Xianyang found that there were seven cellars for refrigeration. At the bottom of each cellar, there was a huge oval pottery basin to catch water and to prevent the ices from being polluted. The cellar walls were made up of earthern ware pipes, one metre in diametre. The pipes were pressed downward while the earth was dug out from under them. This was known as the "open caisson approach'. These cellars were 13 metres deep and had a wooden lid to keep the temperature low for long periods of time. Food would remain fresh much longer. This type of palace with cellars for refrigeration was found for the first time in the history of the Chinese architecture in Xianyang. The earthernware pipes are on display in the museum. A variety of construction materials, such as bricks, roof and eave tiles, were unearthed at the ruins of the place. They are hard, solid and most are dark grey. Hollow bricks, mostly rectangled with patterns of dragons, phoenix, clouds and thunder, were used for paving the stairs and steps. Seven types of bricks were used for ground cover. They were coverd with various patterns.veins-plain, check, rhombus, sawtooth, sun and flower. These paving bricks are new archeaological finds.
Most of these unearthed cultural relics are board tiles, tube-like tiles and eave tiles with a variety of designs, but tiles with cloud veins and deformed cloud veins make up the largest number, over 90% of the total.
The Third Exhibition Roon
This room mainly contains the cultural relics unearthed from No. 3 Palace ruins in Xianyang, the Qin capital. No. 3 Palace is sit-uated to the southwest of No. 1 Palace, and they are about 100 me-tres apart. It covers an area of 7,020 square metres. These are some fragments of a fresco unearthed in the No. 3 Palace ruins. These fragments are composed of straight lines, curve lines and geometric veins of red, yellow, blue and black mineral colours. They are the earliest frescoes found in archeaological findings in China. The fres-coes were painted on the walls of circuitous corridor of the palace. They reflected the travel activities and etiquette of the Qin Dy-nasty. The fragments have some obvious smoked stains, and gives proof to the story that Xiang Yu brought down the Qin Palace to ruins by burning, which lasted for three months. In this room there is also exhibited printed pottery engraved with the names of places such as Xian Li, Xian Ting and names of people. We may deduce from this that there were then workshops and workers specializing in producing these items. This group of pottery was most probably made for the imperial court and sent here from different parts of the country. The makers would be easily found, and severely punished if the pottery was considered low quality or off-standard. To engrave names on pottery probably started in the Qin Dynasty. These engravings have provided us with valuable information for the study of calligraphy, the evolution of Chinese characters and the management of the handicraft indus-try in the Qin Dynasty.
The Fourth Exhibition Room
Iron farm implements,pottery granary and grain show the wide employment of iron tools and the popularization of ploughing by cows in the Han Dynasty which rapidly revived and enhanced the development of agriculture in the country. In the early days of the Han Dynasty, horse raising was greatly encourged by the government in order to develop agricultural pro-duction to meet the needs of military affairs. It also served to en-hance the development of animal husbandry. At the same time, se-vere penalty was imposed on those who stole or killed cows and horses. Pottery cows, horses, pigs and sheep were all excavated in Lang Jiagou, and they serve as the evidence of the development of animal husbandry in the Han Dynasty.
These colour-painted and glazed pottery vessels were made with the method of integral rotation. Yellow-colour glaze was most-ly used on them. Therefore, they are lustrous, smooth and delicate. Glazed pottery was very popular during this period. The ornamental designs on the eave tiles during the Han Dy-nasty were different from those of the Qin. The earlier period of the Han saw the prevalence of words that expressed luck and peace such as "happiness forever" and "longevity and perpetuality", which would constitute the designs on the tiles. While in the later Han, the images of the four gods: the Blue Dragon, the White Tiger, the Scarlet Phoenix and the Tortoise were often seen on the tiles.
The fifth and Sixth Exhibition Room
In these two hails the main exhibits are the colour-painted pot-tery warriors unearthed in a Han tomb in Yang Jiawan. This tomb is one of the satellite tombs of the Changling Mau-soleum, where Emperor Liu Bang was buried. About 70 meters south of the tomb, a large number of colour-painted pottery figures were discovered in 1965. There, archaeologists sorted out 3,000 pieces of terra-cotta warriors from ten pits in the tomb. They were known as "an army of three thousand horseback warriors". There are four pits with standing figures and six pits with cavalryman fig-ures. The standing figures were divided into music players, dancers, and warriors. Among the musical and dancing figures some carried flags, some played ~musical instruments and others danced with quick and light steps in various colored costumes. The warrior figures all had long spears and shields in hand, swords on their backs and suits of armours on their bodies. The armour was made up of two types :large and small(It seemed then that it was at the point of turning the large armour pieces into the smaller ones. ). The smaller armour was more compact and flexible. This resulted from the development of hard armour and sharp weapons in the earlier Han Dynasty. The discover of cavalryman figures in six pits out of the ten indicates that the cavalrymen had an important place in the composition of the army and were a major arm of the services then. The life-like war horses fall into two cate-gories: large and small. They are in different colors: red, black, purple and yellow. Some stand still, and others neigh with their heads high up. The cavalrymen have broad chests and a large build. They look very forceful and vivid. Different signs are cut into the horse's buttocks and tail as well as on the backs of the cavalryman figures.
From the layout of these Han terra-cotta warriors and horses, we can see that the then military formation was quite different from that of the Qin Dynasty. The battle formation of the Qin Dynasty was to have the infantrymen as vanguards together with war chari-ots, which was an attacking force. The battle formation of the Han Dynasty was to have the infantrymen as vanguards with cavalrymen as an attacking force. War chariots were only used as a commanding tool.
Judging from the relics and date of the tomb, it is estimated that the tomb occupant is, most probably, either zhou Bo or Zhou ~afu. Both of then, father and son, once took positions of supreme military commanders during the Western Han Dynasty. These ter-ra-cotta warriors have been o[ great value to the study o[ military formation, artistic carving, dressing style and personal adornment o~ the Western Han Dynasty.
The Seventh Exhibition Room
Here on display in the room are the cultural relics unearthed in the tombs of Western Han emperors. Nine out of the eleven West-ern Hah emperors are buried on the Xianyang plateau. There are in existence 500 tombs altogether, including the emperors' mau-soleums and their satellite tombs. All of which extend for about 100 miles. Although they have not been excavated, cultural relics are occasionally discovered.