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Macun Brick Carving Tombs

Macun Brick Carving Tombs Travel Guide

In the form of brick carving, Macun Brick Carving Tombs show the layout and living scene of the owners' courtyards before their death. It is a rare brick carving masterpiece in the song and Jin Dynasties (960-1234 AD).


Macun Brick Carving Tombs are located in the west of Macun Village, Jishan County, Yuncheng City. At present, 14 tombs have been found, 9 of which have been excavated, 5 of which have been opened to the visitors. According to the comparison between the epitaph of tomb No. 7 and the contents from two pieces of ancient bricks held by Duan's descendants, it is confirmed that these luxurious folk tombs group belongs to Duan Family. Duan is not a noble, but a family of medicinal meals. The family became rich by managing medicinal meals restaurants and set up the family cemetery. The cemetery costed a lot to do the brick carving, but because they were civilian tombs, not noble tombs, so there were only a small number of burial objects. The tombs are all north-south orientation, according to the form of the tomb path, they are divided in to three types: slope, lander and vertical. The architectural design of the tombs mainly show the tombs owners lived before their death -- different tomb courtyards have different structures, including cave dwelling, pavilion, palace, etc. with exquisite carving techniques.

The decoration of the tombs
The tombs are used brick carving with imitation wooden buildings which are exquisitely carved and richly decorated. Some of them also have fences, warrior statues and guard animals. The lower part of the four walls is built with Narayana, flying horses, running deer and other animals.

Scene carving in the tombs
In addition to almost all kinds of architectures carving in accordance with the shape of the courtyards at the period, there are also rich life scenes carving. There are a large number of scenes in the tombs depicting the traditional opera stage, opera actors in different roles and the band of drama performance; the tomb owner and his wife who enjoy the performance, etc. In tomb No.2, there is also a maid with a half figure protruding from the courtyard gate, looking at the opera stage on the opposite side, as if to confirm whether the performance starts for the host. In addition, there are a lot of scenes about the life of tomb owners and their families, such as playing chess, having fun with their parents and children, the children riding bamboo horses and playing in the courtyard, etc.

The Macun Brick Carving Tombs is the best brick carving tombs in the period when this tombs decoration were really popular in the south Shanxi area, a good scenic spot for enjoying technical brick carving and discovering the life at the period.


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