|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Tomb of Wang Jian historically named Yongling Mausoleum is located in the northwestern suburbs of Chengdu city in China. The tomb of Wang Jian is much smaller compared with the Ming Tomb in Beijing, however, it's much older built during the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period (907-960).
During this period at the beginning of the 10th century, the Tang Dynasty collapsed, and China once again split into a number of short-lived independent dynasties and states.
Five dynasties came into being occupying areas covering the middle and lower sections of the Yellow River. The other areas split into the ten states. Most of them were located in the south. So this period is often referred to as the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period.
The Former Shu was one of the ten states. Wang Jian served as the first emperor for 12 years. He was buried in this tomb. Originally his mausoleum was spectacular. It included a hundred grand frescoes. During the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) many of the mausoleum constructions were destroyed.
The remaining buildings were used as a Buddhist temple by the name of Yongqingyuan. Later, a terrible fire broke out and burned down the temple. Nothing was left but the tomb. As years went by, trees and grass covered the whole surface of the tomb, and it looked like a small desolate hill going unnoticed.
The tomb remained unnoticed until 1940 during the War of Resistance Against Japan between 1937 and 1945. Japanese troops had invaded China but their soldiers didn't reach Sichuan, however, their military planes kept bombing Chengdu and other places. Local people dug air-raid shelters in an attempt to hide and protect themselves from being bombed. In 1940 a group of people happened to dig a shelter at the foot of the tomb hill. By chance they discovered that the small hill was a tomb. In 1942, a team of archeologists started excavating the tomb.
Their excavation confirmed that it was the mausoleum of Wang Jian. Afterwards the tomb was sealed again. When New China was founded, the government allocated special funds to maintain the tomb. In 1961, the tomb was designated a "protected treasure" of the state. In 1979, the tomb was opened to visitors.