Part 1. Chinese pyramids: facts and evidence*
Interest in the mysterious pyramids of China has been increasing over the last decade. Unfortunately there is not much scientific or serious information about these structures. We can find a lot of questionable information on the Internet. Such as: ‘UFO and ancient pyramids in China’, ‘Chinese pyramids are the highest pyramids in the world’ and more doubtful information about the legendary White Pyramid. Most of this information is untrue. Those who write about it have never actually been to central China. It's very difficult to start to talk about the pyramids in China because we begin to compare them with Egyptian pyramids, but the pyramids in China and in Egypt are completely different in shape, material and purpose.
Take a look at any photo of a pyramid in China. What do you see? You can see a mound, a typical burial mound such as those in central Russia and in Kazakhstan BUT colossal and with straight sides and edges. If you look at the satellite images you can see the perfect forms of truncated pyramids aligned to the North Pole (this is not the orientation of all pyramids). Therefore we can conclude that it is a pyramid.
During the First International Scientific Conference about Bosnian Pyramids (ICBP) which was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 25-30 August 2008 many scientific reports about pyramids were presented. The famous Egyptologist and pyramid researcher Nabil Swelim from Cairo in his report declared that there is a local “scenario for pyramids” in every part of the world. Egypt, Mexico, Bosnia, Italy and Tenerife have their own types of pyramid as well as China.
The world’s scientific community doesn't know about China’s pyramids, in fact many scientists don't believe in the fact that there are more than 400 pyramids located in China. At the Conference in Sarajevo Egyptologist and archaeologist Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Aly from Cairo in his presentation said that China has “natural pyramidal hills”. This is a good example of such ignorance but understandably normal because this Egyptologist had never heard about the pyramids in China before the conference.
The scientific meeting in Sarajevo had great significance on many cases. At first in Europe and in western world Chinese archaeologists made two presentations about Chinese mausoleums. Dr. Jiao Nanfeng, director of the Archaeological Institute of Shaanxi Province (Xi'an, China) reported about the ancient mausoleums of the emperors.
In his first report Dr. Jiao didn't use the word ‘pyramid’ or ‘Jin za ta’ in Chinese, he used the terms ‘mound’, ‘burial mounds’ and ‘mausoleums’. I asked him “Why don’t you use the word pyramid for describing these structures?” Dr. Jiao answered “This is not our tradition”. But he verified and recognized that the burial mounds of Chinese emperors have a perfect pyramidal form. One can see we have a problem of terminology and other scientifically tradition, so we can talk about one thing but in different words. When Dr. Jiao presented his second report he began to use the word pyramid. It was great progress in the research of Chinese pyramids.
When I presented my report about China’s pyramids as a part of the ‘World's pyramid complex’ I didn’t have much knowledge about them. I was there in January 2008 I took many photos and have read all the information on the Internet. I said that China’s pyramids had never been tombs. Another Chinese archaeologist Dr. Cao Fazhan was shocked and called me to speak about my speech. After an interesting discussion I decided to go to China again and after two months I did.
My introduction was written to show you that the research into Chinese pyramids is like a discovering a new land. In this report I approach the subject as being an important branch of pyramid research.
If you have interest in Chinese pyramids you should know:
1. In China there is a local scenario of pyramids
2. All information about China’s pyramids on the Internet should be verified including this report. After two long trips to China’s pyramids and some meetings with Chinese specialists I realised that there is still so much to learn and that I only have more questions.
3. Chinese archaeologists prefer to use a word ‘mound’ when describing the pyramidal constructions
4. A mausoleum is a huge burial complex which consisted of a minimum of two pyramids, hundreds of satellite tombs and burial pits, which were filled with great many artefacts (pottery, statues and coins etc.). A pyramid is only a part of a mausoleum!
5. China’s pyramids are constructed from clay mixed with local soil and dirt.
Research of these pyramids needs detail analyses of historical records, regional myths and legends. Investigating the properties of the pyramids is an important method for research.
Three Egyptian pyramids on the Giza plateau including the Great Pyramid have some properties. A pyramid with a square base is geometrically founded on 11 straight lines; 4 lines are the base; 2 lines are base diagonals; 4 lines are the corners; and 1 line is the height (from the crossing of the base diagonal to the apex). This is a good example to show you the features of a classical pyramid.
In China we have different properties but the same scientific method. Typically the pyramids in Shaanxi province are a truncated form: very large square base (ABCD on the paintings) and square plateau on the top - A1B1C1D1. Therefore a pyramid is founded on 17 straight lines: 4 base AB BC CD AD; 2 base diagonals; 4 the corners AA1 BB1 CC1 DD1; 4 lines are the base of the top A1B1 B1C1 C1D1 A1D1 and 2 lines are the top diagonals and 1 line is the height HH1. As a result this is a classical, truncated pyramid.
These properties are the best features present in the pyramids of central China. Furthermore the majority of these pyramids are oriented to the cardinal points like the pyramids in Giza.
* Special Thanks to Henry Nold for his support of this expedition.