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Stone Inscriptions of Southern Dynasties Mausoleums

The Stone Inscriptions of Southern Dynasties Mausoleums are situated in Danyang County of Jiangsu Province. 

To date, 10 major spots of the stone inscriptions of mausoleums in the Southern Dynasties Period (420-589) have been discovered in eight places of Danyang. The mausoleums mainly belong to the kings and queens of the Southern Dynasties Period. All of the mausoleums have sacred paths in front with vivid carvings. They are the treasures of ancient China's stone art. 

The Yong'an Mausoleum of Emperor Xuandi of the Qi Kingdom, which is located in Shiziwan, one kilometer north of Hujiaqian in Danyang County, has two stone inscriptions. The east one, which is intact, is a legendary animal called Tianlu, 2.95 meters long, 2.75 meters tall and 2.75 meters wide. It has long, curly hair on the body and a long tail that reaches the ground; under its left front paw is a small animal. The animal of the west, which no longer has a head, leans against the ground. It is 2.90 meters long, 2.42 meters tall and 2.40 meters wide. The two stone animals are well designed and look vivid. 

The Jing'an Mausoleum of Emperor Wudi of the Qin Kingdom is located near Tianjia Village of Jianshan Town, Danyang County. Facing the south, the mausoleum only has two stone animals remaining -- a Tianlu in the east and a unicorn in the west. The Tianlu is 3.15 meters long, 2.80 meters tall and three meters wide. The unicorn, which is 2.70 meters long, 1.40 meters tall and 2.51 meters wide, no longer has its four paws and is severely weathered. 

The Xiu'an Mausoleum of Jingdi of the Qi Kingdom is located near Xiantangwan, south of Shuijing Mountain and 17 kilometers northeast of Danyang County. The mausoleum, faces the south, was excavated in 1865. Inside brick paintings were discovered, including two stone animals -- almost completely intact -- in front the mausoleum. The Tianlu, with its head tilted to the left and its left leg in front, stands in the east, and a unicorn, with its head tilted to the right and its right leg in front, to the west. Both sculptures have a small animal under their paws. The symmetrical positioning of the beasts suggests good coordination. 

In Three City Street (Sanchengxiang), there are three mausoleums: the Xing'an Mausoleum of Emperor Mingdi of the Qi Kingdom, Jianling Mausoleum of Emperor Wendi of the Liang Kingdom and Xiuling Mausoleum of Emperor Wudi of the Liang Kingdom. The Xing'an Mausoleum has two stone carvings facing east: a Tianlu with half of its body buried under the earth to the north and a legless unicorn in the south. 

Along the sacred path of the Jianling Mausoleum, which is facing east, are a pair of stone animals (a Tianlu and a unicorn); a pair of stone plinths, round on top and square near the bottom with two double-horned and four-legged dragons coiling around them; a pair of stone pillars engraved with stripes; and a pair of stone, tortoise-shaped bases. 

The Xiuling Mausoleum of Emperor Wudi, which faces east, has only one Tianlu left. The Tianlu is on the north of the mausoleum sacred path, facing to the south, 3.10 meters long, 2.80 meters tall and 2.35 meters wide. 

There are also mausoleums located on the banks of Xiaoliang River in Lingkou Town, Luanshilong and Jinwangchen villages of Jianshan Town and Shuijingshan Village of Picheng Town. In front of the four mausoleums are stone carvings, either of the Tianlu and unicorn or unicorn and lion, representing stone carvings of the Southern Dynasties. In the mausoleum of Jianwangchen Village, which was excavated in 1968, are brick paintings depicting human beings covered with feathers and playing with dragons and tigers, including figures of the Seven Sages of Bamboo Forest. They are the fine representations of brick paintings from the Southern Dynasties.

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