Dahuting Tombs of Han Dynasty

Last updated by christyinguilin at 2017/4/25

Dahuting Tombs of Han Dynasty are located in Xinmi City, 6 km away from Zhengzhou City. They are regarded as the largest tombs of the Eastern Han Dynasty in China with an area of 33,000 square meters. There are two tombs, eastern tomb and western tomb, which have a history of over 1,800 years and are about 30 meters apart from each other. They are similar in internal structure and style. Long and wide sloping tomb passages exist in both graves.

The western one is a picturial stone tomb. It belonged to a prefecture chief Zhang De, whose hometown is Mixian in Henan Province. It is built by brick and stone. It covers a large area, 26.64 meters long, 20.68 meters wide and 23 meters high. Under the tomb there is a layer of coal with the thickness of 0.5 meters. The pictures and stone carvings are of various styles. The pictures are mainly about clothing, food, housing and transportation of people in the Eastern Han Dynasty, reflecting the life at that period vividly. Among them, a picture showing the process of making toufu in the Eastern Han Dynasty is considered to be the unique one in China and the earliest recording of toufu in the world.

The eastern one is a fresco tomb, whose owner may be a relative of Zhang De. It covers a relatively small area, 19.8 meters long, 18.4 meters wide, and 15.2 meters high. Painted with mineral pigments including cinnabar, tusche, and mineral green 1,800 years ago, the frescos are still bright-colored as if they are just painted. The frescoes are mainly about the life of its owner, such as receiving guests, collecting rent, dancing, feast as well as sumo. There is a fresco named "Dances and Acrobats at the Feast", which is 7.3 meters long and 0.7 meters high. Painted skillfully, it enjoys a high artistic position in the art history of China and has become an important view in the Central Plains.

Dahuting Tombs of Han Dynasty are an underground civilization history rather than just tombs. The carving stones and frescoes not only reflect the local customs, etiquette, and production art, but also show their expectation of the life in the future. They can be regarded as museums of the carving and painting arts in the Han Dynasty, and provide some important clues for the experts, who are studying the customs of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

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