Rear Chamber

Rear Chamber

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rear chamber is 30.1 metres long, 9.1 metres wide and 9.5metres high. The floor is paved with polished porphyritic rocks. In the middle of the platform is placed the coffin of the Emperor. On its left is the coffin of his first wife, Empress Xiaoduan. On its right is the coffin of Empress Xiaojing. Her title was conferred posthumously.

The Emperor died in July 1620 and his first wife died in April the same year. His second wife died eight years before and was buried at the East Pit a burial ground reserved for imperial concubines. When the Emperor and Empress Xiao duan were buried, the coffin of Empress Xiaojing was moved here from the East Pit to join them.

Around the three coffins are 26 red-lacquered chests containing the funerary objects and some pieces of uncut jade. Sandalwood and blue-and-white porcelain vases have been taken away. The historical relics are now put on display after sorting and cleaning.

The original coffins and chests already decayed. The ones you see here are reproductions.

More than 3,000 artifacts were unearthed from the tomb.

The charts and pictures on the walls show the amount of money and labour spent on construction, sixty-five million man-days were spent, with 30,000 people working everyday.

A span of six years and 8 million taels of silver were spent. That amount would have been enough to feed one million peasants for six years and a half.

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