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The mysteries and pyramids of Xian, China

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The ancient Chinese city of Xian lies in the protected Wei River valley, one of the oldest and most important sites in the history of the Middle Kingdom. Impressive tomb excavations in the area include Paleolithic and Neolithic sites. Xian was the original capital of the Han Dynasty, and by the Tang Dynasty had become one of the most prosperous cities in the world. The wealth and influence Xian enjoyed was largely because it was situated on the main trade route between East and West. Excavated near Xian are the ruins of a Neolithic settlement more than 6,000 years old. This settlement, called the Banpo village, is one of the best-preserved late-Stone Age sites in China. As a former entrance to the legendary Silk Road, the city is a veritable treasure trove of priceless objects from the Qin, Tang and Ming dynasties. Xian was a major Far Eastern center of commerce for more than 2,500 years.

Attesting to its further importance, workers drilling a well in 1974 accidentally discovered a replica of an army of life-sized terra cotta soldiers, horses and wagons. They are all arranged in battle formation, and carry real swords, spears and crossbows. So far, 8,000 figures have been unearthed and archaeologists are still counting. To protect the holy silence of his tomb, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (259-210 BCE) ordered his subjects to fabricate the exact likeness of his top soldiers and bury the statues near his tomb. Emperor Qin also gave the original work order for the Great Wall to be built. His undisclosed tomb has yet to be excavated and is said to contain fabulous treasures. Xian is regarded as the cradle of Chinese civilization. It was the capital city of Imperial China through eleven dynasties and a time-span of 1,080 years.

About 40 miles (65 km) south and west of Xian are the 16 pyramids at Shensi. The largest of the 16 pyramids, the “White Pyramid,” or “Great Pyramid of China” is more than twice the height of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, and is just over twice the base perimeter, giving it twice the mass. The White Pyramid was built with the exact same angle of elevation, the same four sides and compass orientations as the Egyptian Great Pyramid. The U.S. Air Force first captured the 16 pyramids on film during surveillance of China during World War II. The pyramids loosely encircle the ancient walled city of Xian, where very old settlements and the terra cotta soldiers have been uncovered. For unknown reasons, the White Pyramid is in a highly restricted military zone and few people have ever seen it. The Chinese government even denies its very existence! One of the World War II pilots who first sighted it described it as “shimmering white … with a large piece of precious gem-like material as its capstone.” The colossal size of the White Pyramid, estimated at 1,000 feet (300 m), makes it by far the largest pyramid in the world. It is likely that the Great Pyramid of China is located at a key intersection point of ley lines, which form part of an ancient network of pyramids worldwide built to tap the earth’s natural energies. The White Pyramid and others in the surrounding valleys may have been arranged to mirror the shapes of certain constellations in the night sky. All the pyramids are extremely old; even the oldest known records call them ancient.
Getting to Xian
Today, Xian enjoys an excellent reputation as one of China’s premiere tourist attractions. As the capital of Shaanxi Province, Xian continues to be an influential locale and is serviced by many national and international flights, main train routes and bus lines from all over the country. Unfortunately, the White Pyramid is off-limits on a top-secret military base.

Excerpted from "Sacred Places Around the World: 108 Destinations" by Brad Olsen, released by CCC Publishing.

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