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A report about the expedition to central China, 5-19 of January 2008 by Maxim Yakovenko
1. Introduction For many centuries China used to be a mysterious eastern land for the western world. The Silk Road was a unique link between European and Chinese civilizations. Seldom travelers ventured to pass thousands of miles to unknown territories where people spoke another language and prayed to the their own gods. By the end of 20th century China turned to be a major destination for thousands of visitors from all over the world thanks to open borders and globalization. The Great Wall, authentic temples and green parks of Beijing, legendary monasteries of Loayang together with modern skyscraper districts of Hong Kong and Shanghai create unique mixture of ancient legacy and advanced technological achievements that attracts tourists to visit this land. Seems that everything has already been discovered and examined in China in terms of archeology and topology by far, however in the center of the country, in the vicinities of Xi’an (the administrative center of Shaanxi province) there are hundreds of ancient pyramidal structures of different shapes and sizes with equal faces and flat tops. The first record about so-called Chinese pyramids was made in 1912, when the travel agents Oscar Maman and Fred Shroeder reported of colossal structures observed in China. Shroeder mentioned eight pyramids, especially he was fascinated by the largest of them: "It was more eerie than if we had found them in the wilderness. Here they had been under the nose of the world, but unknown to the western countries... The big pyramid is about 1,000 feet high (other descriptions estimate 1,000 to 1,200 feet high) and roughly 1,500 feet at the base, which makes it twice as large as any pyramid in Egypt. The four faces of the structure are oriented with the compass points" When Shroeder and Maman asked Buddhist monks about pyramids they noticed that already in the monastery books of 5000 years old those structures were already considered as very ancient and unexplored. During World War II a US Air Force pilot James Gaussman was flying between China and India, his report to an intelligence officer is very important:
"I banked to avoid a mountain and we came out over a level valley. Directly below was a gigantic white pyramid. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. It was encased in shimmering white. This could have been metal, or some sort of stone. It was pure white on all sides. The remarkable thing was the capstone, a huge piece of jewel-like material that could have been crystal. There was no way we could have landed, although we wanted to. We were struck by the immensity of the thing." This story about colossal pyramid called White Pyramid was published in 1947 in the New York Times and was forgotten for half of century until 1994 when German traveler Hartwig Hausdorf visited a valley of pyramids in central China. He was the first European in modern history which shared his impressions and observations to the public in his book “Die Weisse Pyramide” (The White Pyramid). Later he published “The Chinese Roswell” where he gave a little attention to the White Pyramid. Nevertheless that was the first research of the Chinese pyramids ever done. From that time press and then Internet created many myths around Chinese pyramids especially around the White Pyramid. Same time Chinese authorities did not carry out any research of the pyramids and did not invite the foreign scientists to examine those structures. 2. The meaning of the term pyramid in the Chinese language Before we describe the Xi’an pyramids let us consider the meanings of the word “pyramid” in Chinese language. There are three meanings of the term “pyramid” in Chinese: 1. Jin’ zi ta (jīnzìtǎ) – is the most commonly used. Jin means “gold”. Zi – “a mark, a written symbol”. Ta – “a tower”. So we have “a tower with golden symbols”. Hard to say why this term is used in Chinese to describe a pyramid, the history of ancient characters is not clear for us. Characters Jin’ and zi (“golden symbols”) are not attributed to a golden metal but rather to sacred knowledge, which as valuable as gold. Therefore we may assume that pyramids in Egypt, China and in other places are some reserves of important information about ancient civilizations for all the humankind. Chinese characters refer to ancient meaning of the pyramids. This is very important because language is the key to understanding of culture and history of peoples.
2. The second meaning of the word “pyramid” in Chinese is Jiao zhui, literal translation is “a horn for drilling the ground”. It may seem that this term has nothing to do with pyramids, but it does for the Chinese pyramids. There is an unusual object in 40 kilometres from Xi’an which looks like an unnatural lake. After closer examination and analysis of satellite images, it becomes clear that this object is like a mirror reflection of a flat topped pyramid. It looks as though a flat topped pyramid has been turned upside down and drowned into the ground and then removed. We propose to give this construction a terms “pyramidal antipode”. For what reason was this deepening made? It’s a question without an answer so far. However since there is a special term to describe this construction in Chinese language it should be that the pyramid antipode was an important object of some special yet undiscovered meaning in ancient times. 3. The third meaning for term “piramid” is Leng zhu and can be translated as “prism”. Any pyramid is a prism, this also applies to the Chinese pyramids. These flat-topped pyramids are widespread in Shaanxi Province. The meaning of characters Leng zhu refer to the pyramid as a prism. These flat-topped pyramidal objects are sort of prisms but the prism is not simply “a solid object with ends that are parallel and of the same size and shape, and with sides whose opposite edges are equal and parallel” but it’s also an optical lens which transforms the light. The author’s supposition is that these Chinese flat-topped pyramids could probably function as huge generators of energy from the sun light and the universe. “A tower with golden symbols”, “a pyramid – antipode” and “a prism pyramid” are three meanings of the word “a pyramid” in Chinese which have been used for a long time and written in characters. Moreover Chinese terms for word “pyramid” reflect certain forms of pyramids in Shaanxi Province, for instance: “pyramid-antipode” and “flat-topped or prism pyramids”. Besides the description the term pyramid reflects in esoteric nature of the construction. 3. Classification of the pyramids Location: Chinese pyramids are located in the center of Shaanxi province. They surround Xi’an from different directions and some smaller pyramids are even located in the city. There is a long valley of the pyramids in the northern vicinities of Xianyang, the city which is very close to Xi’an. Stretched from the East to the West for 50 km. long the valley looks like a Milky Way.
There are many absolutely unknown pyramids located in the Northwest region from Xi’an and one of them is the legendary White Pyramid. We can expect new pyramidal objects to be found in other regions of Shaanxi province in the future. Let us define similarities of pyramids in central China. What is in common: General characteristic of all pyramids is the material of construction – high quality pressed clay. Being in Shaanxi we didn’t find natural rock hill or any other stone formation only the soil, consisting of clay of mustard color. Ancient builders used clay because it was the only available construction material in that area. But how they turned the clay into construction material of rather high quality is a mystery for us. Every pyramid looks like one solid monolith without any evidence of the clay blocks or slides. Clay material of pyramids is strong like concrete.
Base: The majority of pyramids have square base but some pyramids have rectangular base reminding huge cone-shaped artificial hills but as their parallel sides are equal we shall consider them as separate type of pyramids. There are pyramids which lay on large square foundations up to 3 meters high. Top: Flat-topped pyramid is the most widespread type of the pyramid. Some plateaus on the tops of the pyramids have impressive sizes of 50 x 50 m. All of them resemble Mexican pyramids. There are also pyramids with the top like Egyptian pyramids but they are no more than 40 meters high.
Shape: Chinese pyramids can be divided into step and non-step pyramids. Step pyramids are also divided into multistage and one-step. Pyramid steps represent terraces of 1-2 meters high. Pyramids with one step (terrace) are relatively small - not higher than 10 meters. Pyramids with pointed top are generally non-step, while flat-topped pyramids can be with many terraces or without any. Therefore we can see that Chinese pyramids have some similarities with Mexican pyramids in shapes - they have terraces on each face and flat tops.
4. The Great Pyramid Complex of YaSen Garden Among most interesting pyramids are those of YaSen Garden - a park of apple trees located 15 kilometers from the center of Xi’an. There are sixteen interconnected pyramids and more than ten smaller pyramids located in the vicinities of YaSen Garden.
All those pyramids are aligned to the earth’s cardinal points - North-South and East-West. The biggest pyramid of this complex is not-step pyramid with three-meter square foundation and flat top of 41-42 meters of length and width. Pyramids are all approximately 46-48 meters high. Simple mathematic calculations of this pyramid are rather impressive. Perimeter of top plateau is 166 m., which is exactly the length of one side of the pyramid base which is also 166 meters long! The perimeter of the base equals 664 meters. If we take into account error in 2 meters at measurement from the satellite images we approach to mysterious number of 666!
The second largest pyramid of YaSen Garden 35 meters high. It is a flat-toped pyramid with terraces. The feature of this pyramid is the disproportion of sizes because of western and eastern sides of the base are of 150 meters long whereas southern and northern sides are only 145 meters long, therefore top sides are 47 and 42 meters accordingly.
The third pyramid is smaller than others but together with them this smaller one forms an interesting arrangement. They resemble disposition of three pyramids in Giza of Egypt. Let us consider satellite images of three pyramids in Giza and three pyramids of YaSen Garden. We can see the differences of proportions from the largest pyramid of Khufy to the smaller pyramid of Menkaure in Egypt and similar situation in YaSen Garden. In both cases pyramids are aligned to the earth’s cardinal points! The distance between three pyramids in Giza and YaSen Garden are also similar. This suggests that constructors of pyramids in Egypt and in China both used common knowledge.
Other pyramids of YaSen Garden are also related to the three big pyramids, and also geometrically related to each other. Smaller pyramids have various shapes and steps (terraces), many of them were damaged as a result of human activity as they are located in the middle of the agricultural area. Near the complex only a half of a little pyramid is located which looks like a “bitten pie”
If the pyramids were tombs some evidences of burial would have been found there after their damage, but all pyramids are completely solid. Chinese authorities do not see that YaSen Garden can bring any good profit. Located in suburbs of Xi’an this amazing complex consisting of more than 16 pyramids of the different forms and sizes on the small area could be another tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world.
5. Maoling Mausoleum and mysteries of White pyramid Near the city of Xianyang (50km from Xi’an) along the Wei River there is a very long valley of the pyramids. There are more than two hundred pyramids of different forms, sizes and shapes. The pyramids are known as tombs of emperors of Han dynasty. The Maoling Mausoleum for Emperor Wudi is most famous and interesting. In the beginning of 90-th of 20th century archaeologists excavated the area around the “tomb” where some thousands of terracotta statues of soldiers, peasants and traders have been found there but no evidence of a burial place of the emperor was found.
The height of the pyramid is 46.7 meters, all sides oriented like the pyramids in Giza. Chinese have planted the small evergreen conifer trees and also bushes with large prickly thorns on all sides to hide a pyramid construction under plants. Main feature of this pyramid is artificial hilly formations, which situated opposite to the northern, western and east sides of the pyramid. Archaeologists actually don’t know for what reason those formations were created.
There is an opinion that Maoling pyramid is a legendary Write Pyramid which was described by Oscar Maman and Fred Shroder in the beginning of 20 th century. Let me remind that they specified the height of White Pyramid as 300 meters and length of the base as more than 500 meters approximately. James Gaussman also described White Pyramid as something colossal and shining. Meanwhile Chris Maier and Walter Hain suggest that the pilot Gaussman could be mistaken and Maman with Shroder could overstate the size of the pyramid. However how could be mistaken Maman with Shroder which came to White Pyramid so closely and made the descriptions after their trip? Maier and Hain did not answer to this question moreover Hain never visited Chinese pyramids while Maier have visited only some locations of the pyramids in Shaanxi province. In his opinion the Maoling pyramid is the White Pyramid because it’s the largest pyramid of all area around Xi’an. However this statement is doubtful since Maoling pyramid is smaller than the pyramid located near the International Airport of Xi’an. The largest pyramid of YaSen Garden has same size that Maoling. Moreover there are two colossal pyramids located only four kilometers to the East from Maoling.
Two colossal pyramids which located four km.
from the Maoling Pyramid
6. White Pyramid The White Pyramid is located in the vicinity of Qiang Xian, a small Chinese town located 80 km to the northwest from Xi’an. White Pyramid is officially known as Liangshan Mountain. Some decades ago a tomb of emperor Qianling from Tan dynasty of the end of 7th century AD was fond there. The emperor was buried inside the Liangshan Mountain where the tomb was already arranged in advance. Twenty symbolical guards stand on the way to a burial place with unusual long swords. Behind the guards there is a reconstructed gate built from clay but faced with bricks. The gate is followed by two large statues of mythical monsters.
The first impression is that it’s a colossal pyramid with visible sides and angles but not the mountain as considered. Shroeder also wrote about a huge pyramid which looks like a mountain from the distance. In fact this construction is situated on the plane where many houses of peasants are built at the bottom of the “mountain” and on it’s terraces. “The pyramid is about 1,000 feet high (other descriptions estimate 1,000 to 1,200 feet high) and roughly 1,500 feet at the base, which makes it twice as large as any pyramid in Egypt. The four faces of the structure are oriented with the compass points”
Thus the mountain Liangshan with the tomb of the emperor Qianling is a colossal pyramid with four visible sides. It is difficult to determine the height of the pyramid. If measured from the platform where twenty guards stand the height is 160 meters, however if measured from the base of the pyramid the height is about 300 meters! Each side of the pyramid is unique, here what Shroeder wrote about it in 1912: “Each side of a pyramid was of different color: the northern side was black, the eastern – blue (teal), the southern – red and the western side had a tint of white. The flat top of the pyramid was covered with yellow soil (clay)”. Let us try to find a rational explanation why Shroeder did characterize each side of the pyramid with a color? The answer is on the surface of the pyramid. The northern side of the pyramid is the most damaged one because of human activities. There are many modern man-made terraces and kitchen gardens of peasants therefore this side looks like a long slope of a natural hill. Since this side does not face the sun the terraces have dark-grey color, therefore Shroeder referred to the northern side as “dark”. The eastern side is planted by coniferous trees having a tint of blue and green colors. The southern side was also damaged by local inhabitants. The distraction reviled the clay body of the pyramid of yellowish color.
At last the western side of the pyramid is of white color because it is covered by massive stone blocks grey and white colors. Presumably this was the reason the pilot Gaussman referred to this pyramid as “shining” or “white”. Long time ago the entire pyramid was covered by massive white stone plates whereas the pyramid is constructed from the pressed clay as well as great number of other pyramids of Shaanxi province. Those massive plates slipped down to the foot of the pyramid under the influence of natural factors such as earthquakes and rains. Western side plates kept relatively safe.
Let's refer Shroeder’s notes once again: “The pyramid itself was built of pressed clay as well as many constructions in China. Huge troughs extended along the walls of the pyramid having a size of mountain canyons. They were filled up with stones too. There were trees and bushes on the slopes defacing the shape of pyramid making it some similar to a natural object. I was fascinated by this amazing sight… Some time ago there were steps from the foot to the top of the pyramid but they are filled up with fragment of stones now. Some steps made of wild stones were seen at the bottom (each stone was three square ft.)”. In support to Shroeder’s descriptions many massive stone plates were found on the western side of the pyramid. Those plates have smooth surface and straight edges. They cover the whole western slope, but laying is damaged in many places. The clay body of the pyramid is down under the plates, somewhere the clay appears between the plates. The stone plates
were used like a covering of the pyramid for protection from outer environment. The western side terrace (step) kept safe from the ancient time. The laying of the big stone blocks is of bad condition, grass grew through the chinks. Regular blocks lay on the clay as well as massive stone plates near the terrace. This is impossible for natural mountains because a regular shaped stone can’t form on clay or soil. Each sides of this pyramida were covered by stone plates long time ago but we actually don't know anything about nature of the pyramid. It must not be ruled out that there was a mountain, which was transformed to pyramid by builders in prehistoric times. But if the pyramid was built from the foundation to the top it needed millions tons of clay, thousands builders and advanced technologies of engineering. If we compare descriptions of the White Pyramid by Shroeder, Maman and James Gaussman with descriptions of gigantic pyramid with the tomb for emperor Qianling we could assume that those are descriptions of the same object – The White Pyramid. There are seven evidences indicating that this pyramidal construction could be a mysterious White Pyramid (after comparing statements of Shroeder and others with personal research after expedition to Chinese pyramids): 1. Height of 300 meters 2. Length of each side of foundation 500 meters 3. Symbolical description of color of sides of the pyramid and explanation of this feature in rational method
The term White Pyramid has origin in a color of stone plates which covered pyramid The pyramid constructed of the pressed clay, covered by stone plates
6. The sides (wall) of the pyramids have depressions which look like natural troughs 7. Steps or terraces of the pyramid
6.1. Chinese-Bosnian connection The features of White Pyramid have similarities with another pyramid which is located thousands miles away from China in Bosnia and Herzegovina where three years ago the biggest pyramid was found in a little town Visoko. Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun was constructed of massive plates which covered all sides of this pyramid. On the photo you can see those unusual man-made plates which look like long whole line. Comparison of the plates of Bosnian Pyramids of the Sun and plates of White Pyramid show common features and principles of construction. Moreover two pyramids are both gigantic: the Pyramid of the Sun is 220 meters and White Pyramid 300 meters approximately. Three sides of those pyramids are clearly visible whereas the fourth side was damaged or put into special shape by ancient engineers for any mysterious reasons. Two pyramids are both flat-toped but the White Pyramid is more damaged than the Pyramid of the Sun in Bosnia. Further exploration may reveal more similarities and common characteristic of the pyramids.
The plates of the White Pyramid look like the plates of the Pyramid of the Sun in Bosnia
6.2. Some notes about the tomb of emperor Qianling. The Emperor Qianling from Tan dynasty was buried in a special place (tomb) inside of the White Pyramid in the end of 7th century A.D. Obviously the emperor and his suite knew about the antiquity of pyramid and wished to join the great and legendary emperors of pre-historic China, the Sons of the sky. The Emperor wanted to be buried inside of the pyramid. He used ancient construction for his own purpose - as his burial place in this case - hoping that the pyramid could provide him with some special preference over others in the other world. 6.3. The Pyramid-companion of the White Pyramid There is an interesting and a very beautiful pyramid with its eastern side facing the western side of the White Pyramid. This pyramid-companion is flattoped and of approx. 80 meters height. The eastern side of this pyramid descended a long time ago. The most impressive is that there is a little pyramid of 7-8 meters height on the top of this pyramid-companion. It looks like one pyramidal complex consisting from White Pyramid and the Pyramid-companion with little pyramid on the top. Moreover there are some pyramidal hills located in the vicinities of the White Pyramid and they also need detailed research in further expeditions to this mysterious and majestic land.
7. Conclusion At first it is necessary to investigate local legends, to study ancient texts and than to begin researching of this pyramidal complex. Involving scientists from all over the world and advanced modern scientific technologies may help to reveal the mystery of the nature of the White Pyramid.
The White Pyramid (photo from the Internet) China is the rapidly developing country with pragmatic and talented people which can change, decorate and offer to tourists everything which have historical and esthetically value. At the same time a few people in the world know about hundreds pyramids in central China whereas promotion information about pyramids presence can stimulate the economy of Shaanxi province. The pyramids of YaSen Garden, the around Xianyang and Xi'an cities, White Pyramid and others could be tourist attraction for visitors from all corners of the world. To be continued…
This report with more photos available on www.world-pyramids.com Russian version: http://www.world-pyramids.com/russia/China.html All text and photographs by @ Maxim Yakovenko. Satellite images from Google Special thanks to Kirill Atamanov for English redaction of this report.
@ Maxim Yakovenko
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