Exhibition Room I

Exhibition Room I1. The Model of the Tomb Mound
In May 1956, an archaeological team started excavating Dingling. It took them one year to uncover three deep tunnels and find the exact entrance to the Underground Palace. Some decayed bricks at the southwestern end of the surrounding wall showed that there had been an archway. The team later found a narrow, brick-walled tunnel which runs zigzag to the back of the mound.

In opening up the second tunnel, a stone slab was uncovered on which the inscription reads: 160 feet further and 35 feet deep to the “diamond wall,” the sealing wall of the Underground Palace. This tablet provided important clue to the further excavation of the Under-ground Palace. Archaeologists said that the tablet was meant to guide the builders who might need it for reopening the tomb.

2. Jade Belt
Jade belt used to be one of the decorative objects on the Emperor’s robe. In the Ming Dynasty, a limited number of ministers also wore such belts, as grants from the Emperor. The belt is made of gold and gems linked together by a leather belt. The gems are trans-parent and beautiful, like pomegranate seeds. They are products of South China Sea islands and reflect friendly exchanges between China and the southeast Asian countries during the Ming periods.

3. Gold Coins
These gold coins, each weighing 38.5 grams, were minted specially for the dead. They bear characters that read: “Longevity and away with misfortune.”

Most of the porcelain wares uncovered from Dingling are blue and white porcelain. They are bright and clear, pretty and artistic. They were not only used in the court in large number, but were also one of the major export commodities of the time.

4. Silk Fabrics
A large quantity of silk fabrics- was uncovered from Dingling. Here on display is a piece of gold thread gauze with a rabbit design and a piece of figured satin with a design of lotus and Buddhist emblem swastika. They show the level of textiles in those days.

5. Jade Objects
These jade objects were unearthed from the underground. The carving is intricate and delicate. They show the exquisite workmanship of jade carving in the Ming Dynasty.

6. Helmet and Sword
These are helmet, sword and armour worn by Emperor Wanli. The originals had decayed. They are reproductions.

7.Funerary Objects and Wooden Figurines
The funerary objects were symbolic utensils made specially for the dead. Slaves were buried alive with their deceased masters. Wooden figurines were later used as burial objects to replace human sacrifice.

8. Gold Crown
The gold crown, for the emperor, is woven with extremely thing old wire. The weaving is done from top to bottom. The tiny holes must be the same in size. It is neat and graceful, displaying the high artistry in arts and crafts in the Ming Dynasty.

9. “Pi Bian”
The hat was worn by the Emperor when he issued imperial decrees, worshipped gods and received tributes.

1O. “Mian” (Heavenly Hat)
It was worn by the Emperor when he went to worship Heaven, the Earth or his ancestors.

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