Tucked away in Tonkin Street in Kowloon’s northwestern Sham Shui Po quarter lies what has often been considered one of Hong Kong’s most curious tourist attractions. Dubbed the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum the venue displays archaeological findings surrounding an ancient tomb that dates back over 2000 years. Uncovered almost by accident in 1955 during the building of the Lei Cheng Uk Resettlement Area the artifacts and items that were discovered within the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb speak volumes of the civilization which occupied the area in centuries past.
The brick layered tomb is of course the venue’s main highlight as the structure which is believed to have been constructed in the Eastern Han Dynastic era remains largely intact to this day. The dating of the tomb was determined by the inscriptions found within the structure which foretell other significant information on the contents of the tomb as well as the time period of its construction. The venue is said to have been built to contain the remains of a Chinese official of a prime position in the municipality garrison. Made almost entirely out of brick the tomb is divided in to four rooms that are placed in the shape of a cross. A domed vault is found in the heart of the tomb while most of the tomb bricks are decorated with inscriptions or motifs on one side. The chamber at the tomb’s rear is considered the coffin room while the auxiliary chambers were employed for storage purposes and the front rooms were used for conducting spiritual ceremonies.
The museum’s Exhibition Hall contains relics in bronze as well as clay pottery found inside the chambers as well as a 3D animation rendering of the interior of the mausoleum in all its splendor. Divided in to three sections the Exhibition Hall contains Han dynastic particulars on consuming food and drink in its first quarter. Littered with pictograms, replica figurines and food distribution maps, this section is followed by the second quarter which showcases details of the tomb’s excavations, layout and inscriptions. The third part of the Exhibition Hall displays 58 items found within the tomb including jars, pottery, bowls, bronze bells, basins and mirrors as well as cooking equipment and ancient storage containers.
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