Dr. Lomino in China: February 28
FEBRUARY 28: King Zhao Mo’s Tomb
I have been anxious to see more of the history of Guangzhou, and today we are visiting the Museum of the Nanyue King of the Western Han Dynasty. The tomb is a recent discovery, found in 1983. It is the earliest stone tomb with paintings in South China, dating 2,000 years ago. More than one thousand relics were unearthed and are displayed beautifully in the museum. The museum itself won multiple architecture awards. The exhibits includes many treasures—art, musical instruments, ceramic dishes, copper cookware, weapons and an extensive collection of jade jewelry and the king’s jade funerary costume. The archaeologists and artisans recreated several items from the tomb such as the king’s coffin and a beautiful lacquered wood screen, used in the king’s palace.
The highlight for me is walking down into the actual tomb, cut from stone quarried at what is now Lotus Hill. The tomb contained several rooms including the king’s burial chamber and two or three rooms for the people who were buried with him to accompany him to the afterlife—three wives and at least 10 servants! History absolutely captivates me—and this is one of the most interesting sites I’ve ever visited!
Before leaving the museum I spend some time (and money) in the gift shop. An artist is at work painting intricate pictures and designs inside tiny bottles with very small brushes. Jecky tells me these bottles are used to hold Chinese herbal, powdered medicines. Of course I have to purchase several for gifts and one for myself! They are just beautiful. I plan to fill them with some herbs before taking them home. I also purchase a book with photos of the tomb’s treasures and more details written in English.
We had planned to visit several old temples, but time has gotten away from us, and we begin our return trip, including a stop at the large 7-story mall, Grandview Mall. We eat lunch at a Hong Kong-based restaurant, where I try more Cantonese food including a delicious mushroom stir fry and rice rolls in peanut sauce. Jecky also orders sweet potatoes with blueberry sauce—also very tasty!
We take an Uber car back to Favorview, and I am happily tired from a fascinating walk back into time.
Today’s Insight: I appreciate even more the ancient culture here in China. In the US we see historical sites, that seem very old at 200-300 years, but our US roots are so modern compared to China. What makes this culture even more extraordinary is realizing that many Chinese can trace their roots back thousands of years on this very same soil, and in some cases the very same town! This gives a new meaning to the idea of one’s “roots.” The roots here run very deep indeed!