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Coordinates: 34°20′9.07″N 108°34′13.18″E / 34.3358528°N 108.5703278°E / 34.3358528; 108.5703278


Maoling (Chinese: ; pinyin: Mào Líng) is the tomb of Emperor Wu of Han (156–87 BCE) located in Xingping, Shaanxi Province, China, about 40 km to the west of the provincial capital of Xi'an. The tomb is the largest of all tombs built during the Han Dynasty. It is also well known as "Great White Pyramid" since U.S. Army Air Corps pilot James Gaussman saw it as "a white jewel-topped pyramid during a flight between India and China during World War II" (see Chinese pyramids). It is a trapezoidal tumulus built from rammed earth with a rectangular base which measures 222 by 217 metres (728 by 712 ft) and a height of 47 metres (154 ft).[1] Construction of the tomb began in 139 BC, the second year in the reign of Emperor Wu[1][2] and took 53 years until completion upon the emperor's death. About one third of the court's annual revenue from taxes and tributes was used towards construction of the tomb. Maoling is the largest in a group of more than 20 tombs. The smaller tombs surrounding it belong to former members of Emperor Wu's court, such as Lady Li, the emperor's favorite concubine, and the military strategist Huo Qubing (died 117 BCE).

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