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Huang Motang's tomb on Lotus Hill
Latest Updated by 2006-12-04 16:41:25

On the northwestern slope of Lotus Hill, in an area untrodden by tourists, lies the 758-year-old tomb of Huang Motang, the ancestor of the Huangs of Xiasha Village, Shangmeilin Village in Futian and Shanghe Village in Bao’an, as well as Mai Po Village in New Territories, Hong Kong.

The weather-beaten tomb is one of the 10 provincial-level historical sites in Shenzhen. Built in 1248 in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), it has never been restored or renovated, which is part of the reason why it's on the provincial protection list, according to Shenzhen archaeologist Peng Quanmin.

The tomb has a hexagonal pagoda, a symbol of the occupant's Buddhist faith. It's rare for a non-monk's tomb to have a pagoda, said Peng. It's also the only tomb with a pagoda from the Southern Song Dynasty to have been found in Shenzhen. The pagoda had three floors but only two currently remain. The surviving part of the pagoda is 0.4 meters thick, 0.5 meters wide, and 1.27 meters tall.

The granite stele inside the pagoda is carved with characters describing the occupant of the tomb. The tomb belonged to Huang Motang, who lived in the early 12th century and passed away at the age of 65, and the tomb was built by his five sons.

The five sons spawned a huge clan over the next 800 years. Every Double Ninth Festival — the traditional day for paying tribute to their ancestors -- Huang's descendants visit the tomb, burn incense, and present offerings like fruit, suckling pig, and the food they believe their ancestor would enjoy in the other world. Hundreds of years of burning incense has blackened the granite.

Local archaeologists found the tomb on Jan. 4, 1991, led by Xiasha resident Huang Zhisheng. It entered the city's protection list in 1998 and the province's protection list in 2002.

"When the archaeologists from the provincial archeological institute visited the tomb, they were surprised by its pristine beauty," said Peng, one of the local archeologists who recommended the tomb for the provincial protection list.

The tomb is valuable for research into the origins, religions, customs, and architecture of the Pearl River Delta, said Peng.

Huang Gencai, a former official of Xiasha Village, said the family history book of the Huangs showed Huang Motang was the original ancestor of Xiasha Village. According to the book, Huang Motang moved to Bao'an (the former name of Shenzhen) with his father from East China's Fujian Province.

Although he did not hold any eminent position, his grandson Huang Shi was the first person in the city to pass the top royal examination and win a Jinshi title in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Huang Shi later became the deputy head of a county called Chengxiang.

According to legend, Huang Motang was the 14th-generation descendant of Huang Xiaoshan, who lived in Shaowu City, Fujian, over 1,130 years ago.

Legend has it that Huang Xiaoshan had married three wives, who gave birth to 21 children. Against the Chinese tradition of keeping the children close to their parents, Huang Xiaoshan divided his wealth among his sons and asked them to seek their fortune away from the homeland. Now his descendants have spread around the world.

Location: Lotus Hill, the green lung of Futian's newly built CBD area

History: Dates back to1248

Editor: Donald

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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