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The Tomb of Bian Que

The Tomb of Bian'que, Xi'an Attraction


Bian Que's tomb is located at the foot of magpie Shanxi in Beijiao, Ji'nan. There is a statue of Bian Que in front of the tomb. The base of the statue is one meter high. The words "Bian Que" are written in front of the statue, and the scene of Bian Que treating patients and preparing herbs is carved in the back. Beside the tomb is the newly built stone tablet of Bian Que's tomb in 1995.

It is situated in a courtyard under the hill, the cemetery is not large, has been protected by cement lining, the top of the tomb is clumped with vegetation, flowers blooming, birds singing. In front of the tomb stood two stone tablets, one with a blurred handwriting, inscribed with the words "February 18, the eighteenth year of Qianlong" and one inscribed with the words "the second batch of key cultural relics protection units in Jinan City".


Stone Tablet

Beside the tomb is the newly built stone tablet of Bian Que's tomb in 1995. The tomb is a mound of earth, sealed more than a metre high, covered with soft loess, and the base of the tomb is protected by a circle of cement. There was a statue of Bian Que in front of the tomb. A medicinal gourd hung around the waist of the benevolent magpie, with one hand on crutches and one hand on its back, walking lightly, looking calm and leisurely. The pedestal of the statue is one metre high. In front of it are the four characters of "Bian Que" written in small seal, and in the back are the scenes of Bian Que in treating patients and preparing herbs.

The tomb has an inscription of 665 words saying who he was and giving the story about feeding his sick mother.  Wu Jing was buried with 76 objects, including jade and pottery. The tomb has a passage to a burial chamber with a door. Bone residue from an unknown source, iron nails and wood ashes were found in the burial chamber.

----1,000-year-old Chinese tomb contains spectacular murals, touching poems, and ceiling of star constellations

----The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure

----Spectacular paintings found in 700-year-old Chinese tomb


Who is Bian'que

According to legend, Bian Que was the earliest known Chinese physician. His real name is said to be Qin Yueren, but his medical skills were so amazing that the people gave him the same name as the legendary doctor Bian Que, from the time of the Yellow Emperor. He was a native of the State of Qi. Bian Que was the first to rely primarily on pulse and physical examination for the diagnosis of disease. Although some facts are known about his life, Bian Qiao is also a somewhat mythical figure. The Herodotus of China, Sima Qian (c. 145–87 BCE), wrote a long biography of Bian Qiao.

The first full biography of Bian Que, which was also the earliest biography of a Chinese physician, was composed by the historian Sima Qian (145–86 bce) in his Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian). It states that Bian Que was a man from Zheng in Bohai District (in modern-day Hebei Province) and that his real surname was "Qin" and personal name "Yueren." It was said that he was initiated into the healing arts by an immortal who gave him many books of taboo recipes and made him take a medicinal concoction that subsequently enabled him to see objects on the other side of a wall. 


Thus, when examining his patients, Bian Que could see clearly the obstructions and nodes in their internal organs and vessels. Sima Qian's biography recounts several highlights of Bian Que's medical career, stressing his remarkable abilities as a diagnostician and acupuncturist, and these highlights provided the core of the life of Bian Que known to subsequent centuries. But as an historical document Sima Qian's account is fraught with difficulties. First, it places Bian Que in historical contexts that stretched across vast geographical distances and spanned from the late sixth to the third centuries bce. 

Second, the text ascribed to Bian Que some of the medical concepts that are now known to have been absent during those early times. The consensus among modern scholars is that "BianQue" was a common laudatory title given to superior healers in ancient China and that one of those receiving the title may have been Qin Yueren, whose life and accomplishments may have partially corresponded to Sima Qian's narrative. "Bian Que," literally referring to a bird, once was the title of the official in charge of regulating.


Main Highlights

At the Western foot of Que Shan in the northern suburbs of Jinan, there is a tomb of Bian Que. The stone tablet before the tomb is "the Tomb of Luyi Bian Que in the Spring and Autumn Period" and the word "the Tomb of Bian Que in the eighteenth year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty" (1753). 

Magpie Mountain is one of the "nine points of Qiyan" in Jinan. It appeared in the poems of Li Bai, a great poet of Tang Dynasty, who accompanied his ancestor, Jinan Taishou Panmagpie Mountain Lake. It also appeared in Zhao Mengfu, a calligrapher and painter of Yuan Dynasty. The name of magpie mountain is from Bian Que, a doctor of God. According to legend, Bian Que used to make alcoholic drugs on the mountain, and was buried at the foot of the mountain after his death. Therefore, the mountain was marked by people and changed to Magpie Mountain. The legend of Bian Que buried in magpie hill has been over two thousand years. Since it is said that he was a native of Luyi, the state of Qi (now Changqing in Shandong Province), naturally the people of his hometown hoped that the leaves would fall to their roots and their souls would return to their hometown.


The government of Lintong District of Xi'an began to construct Bian Que administration office in 1983. In October 1983, Lintong County People's Government announced that Bian Que Tomb was a city (county) level cultural relic protection unit, and the tomb was repaired. In 1984, the Bian Que administration of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty and Qin Yue was established. In 1991, it was renamed Bian Que Memorial Hall in Lintong County. In April 1992, Shaanxi Provincial People's Government announced that Bian Que Tomb was a provincial-level cultural relic protection unit. In 1996, it was renamed the Bian Que Memorial Hall in Lintong District of Xi'an City. In 2005, the Bian Que Memorial Hall was expanded and upgraded. After the completion of the new building, it covers an area of 40 mu and a building area of 4140 square meters.


Admission Fee: Free
Tel: 029-64804573

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