china edition


Xian - Tomb of Huo Qubing

Shaanxi - Xian - Yan'an

Huo Qubing (140 BC-117 BC) was a very outstanding and brave general in the Western Han dynasty. He led his troops to repulse numerous incursions by the Huns and brought peace and prosperity to the society. In 117 BC, he died at the age of 23, which was a great loss to the whole society. Emperor Wudi (156 BC-87 BC) and the entire nation felt very sad for this war hero's death, so the Emperor gave orders to hold a ceremonial funeral for Huo Qubing and built a spacious tomb for him just beside the Emperor's own. This is the present Tomb of Huo Qubing.

The Tomb of Huo Qubing lies 1,000 m northeast of Maoling Mausoleum, in Xingping City. It is a cone-shaped soil and rock mound, adjacent to the Maoling Museum and is surrounded by a scenic environment.

Altogether there are 16 stone carvings in front of the Tomb of Huo Qubing, including a galloping horse, a recumbent horse, a bull, a tiger, a wild boar, a toad, a stone fish, a sleeping elephant, a stone man, an ape and a bear. These large groups of carvings comprise an illustrious example of the art of stone carving in the Han dynasty. It is the best preserved carving heritage in China.

"Horse Treads on the Hun" is the main statue placed in front of the tomb with its length of 1.9 meter and its width of 1.68 meter. In this carving, a stone horse is standing on the ground with perked head and long horsetail. Under its abdomen is a struggling Hun with bow and dagger in his hand. The whole carving is the most representational monumental work and holds an important place in the history of Chinese art.