Lintong Museum
The Lintong Museum is situated in the eastern corner of the world-famous Huaqing Pool. In three exhibition rooms there are on display about 10,000 cultural relics of various kinds, spanning more than 7,000 years.
Exhibition Room No. 1 displays stele art. It contains steles, statues and Buddhist scriptures. They are valuable material for the study of China's ancient calligraphy, sculpture and Buddhist histo-ry.
Exhibition Room No. 2 has 111 cultural relics from the Zhou and Qin dynasties, and displays the art of these two periods. In the Western Zhou Dynasty Section, the exhibition mainly consists of exquisite bronze wares that were stored in caves. Among them, Li Gui, a kind of sacrificial vessel is uniquely shaped and is classified as one of the state's first-class cultural relic. It bears inscriptions that are of great historical value. The Qin Dynasty section mainly ex-hibits the relics unearthed from Yueyang, the capital of the Qin Empire, and from the areas surrounding Qin Shihuang's mau-soleum. Its emphasis is on the relics excavated from this tomb. Exhibition Room No. 3 displays Buddhist art from the Tang ~ Dynasty. It presents 584 Buddhist treasures of the Tang's flourish-ing age. Among them, the gold-coffin, the silver outer coffin and Buddha's dagoba were all unearthed in 1985 from the coffin cham-ber under Shangfang Pagoda in Qingshan Temple built in the Tang Dynasty. They are classified as the state's relics of special grade. Major relics excavated at Qingshan Temple are as follows. Coffin chamber: Also known as the tomb of Buddha, the chamber covers three square metres and is six metres underground. Horizontally, it takes the shape of the Chinese character "1~ "o Stele: Domed and rectangular, it stood in the middle of the en-trance to the coffin chamber when it was unearthed. On the top is a finely carved Jialingpinjia, a bird with human head and phoenix body. The Jialingpinjia was said to sing pleasantly and was known as "a bird of beautiful voice". The title board records "the Qingshan Temple, in the Kaiyuan Reign of the Great Tang Empire". The stele inscription begins with "A Tale of Shangfang Pagoda". What follows is "April 8th, 29th year of Kaiyuan Reign of the Great Tang Empire", which was in 741 A. D.. The stele records the lo-cation of Shangfang Pagoda, the pompous scene of the burial cere-mony for the Buddhist relics and the history of Qingshan Temple. Door: A whole set of line-engraved limestone door lintels, frame, leaf, sill and axle base, engraved with flowing lines ,mirrors the superb skills of line engraving in the Tang Dynasty. tricoloured lions:Among the Tang tricoloured animal models, horses and camels are commonly seen, and lions are a rarity. This pair of lions, found flanking the facade of the coffin chamber, are rated as first—class relics. They are holy guarding animals. Tricoloured sacrifice plates:In front of the Buddha's dagoba, there are three plates. The middle plate offers a pumpkin and the two flanking plates contain glass fruit. There used to be the saying "Pumpkins should not be used as offerings for Buddha". But the position of the pumpkin shows it was not only used for Buddha,but also as an offering of superior grade. The skin of the glass fruit on both sides is as thin as a sheet of paper, which was more valuable than gold and silver then. This set of glass fruit is believed to be made in China, according to experts' appraisal of it. Pottery vase with coloured design: The vase was first gilded and then had a layer of white powder applied to it. The golden colour shines through the white. Auhergine is used to paint curved lines in the background with clusters of vermilion peonies drawn on top. It shows the exquisite craftsmanship of the flourishing age of the Tang Dynasty.Gilded incense burner: This burner is supported by six tigers when standing upright on the ground or can be hung by rings that are held in the mouths of beasts along its sides. Pot with phoenix head and human face: The pot looks like a lotus flower from a vertical view. Below its neck there are six Indian faces of deep relief which are evidence of the friendly contact be-tween China and India.


Gilded high-legged cup:The cup bears fine, smooth lines and proof of friendly relations between China and Iran. The gold inner coffin, the silver outer coffin and Buddha's dagoba are the only complete set of Buddha's dagoba furnishings in the world. They are considerd to be examples of China's special— class relics. Both the gold and the silver coffins are inlaid with pearls, agate, Jadeite, cat's eye and turquoise. Inside the gold cof-fin, Buddhist relics were placed in two vases, along with glass lotus flower stands of different sizes. The larger lotus-flower vase was placed at the larger end of the coffin. The smaller one was placed at the smaller end. The gold coffin was contained in the silver one, which was located in the dagoba. The dagoba had to be opened lay-er by layer. The Buddhist relics are the crystal by—products from the cremation of the body of Buddha. They resemble millet "Shell" Buddhist relics. There are three kinds of relics: the white ones are bone-relics; the black ones are hair-relics; and the red ones are flesh-relics. The contents of the vases are bone-relics. The gold coffin is made of copper. The ancient Chinese called copper gold, hence the name "gold coffin". On the facade of the coffin, there is a pair of guarding lions, surrounded by plum-blos-soms made of pearls in the shape of ";~". The pearls were glued in-to this form with glutinous rice. A cat's eye shines among ten vines engraved on the lid of the gold coffin. On the facade of the silver outer coffin are two gilded Buddhist idols with a pair of Buddha's feet in between. As the legend goes, Sakyamuni came out of coffin three times after his death. When he came out the first time, he stretched out his gold arms to his first disciple; the second time, his gold body came to his second disciple; the last time his gold feet went to his third disciple. It is said that this pair of Buddha feet was brought back from the west by Xuan Zang, the renowned Buddhist monk, after he finished his pilgrimage there. There were no idols in the beginning of Buddhist history. Worship of the Buddha's feet amounted to the worship of Buddha. Three gilded Mani pearls lay at the back of the silver outer coffin and were used to dispel disas-ters and keep away adversities. On both sides of the silver outer cof-fin are the ten gilded figures of Sakyamuni's disciples. This dagoba, with its four- upward- corners and peach-shaped roof, takes after the double—eared, two—sided, dripping form and is made of stone, in the shape of a pavili9n. The dagoba consists of six layers, one over another. It sits on the Xumi lotus— flower base, which is decorated with peonies, cloud-shaped draw-ings and dancing figures. On the base there are two golden lotus flowers, suggesting the devoted Buddhists would be sent to the Western Paradise on lotus flowers. The four sides of the dagoba are decorated with line-engraved pictures of nirvana. The four corners of the dagoba are in the shape of gilded phoenix heads. Stone gild-ing technology was very rare at that time. On the front eave is en-graved the gilded regular script: "for Buddhist relic". Two guard-ing warriors flank the scripts. Three flying dragons were carved on the rounded upper part of the eave. The roof is shaped like a peach, supported on chains of lotus flower. Four bodhi trees with their copper twigs and silver leaves stand on the dagoha. Buddhist art is a dazzling pearl among the heritage of China's ancient culture. It is the product of our ancient working people's wisdom.