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Notes on the Geography of China: Beijing: Ming Tombs: Photo 10

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Behind the hall is Zhu Di's soul tower. Its base is a square rampart (fangcheng); above is the "brilliant tower" (minglou). (The word ming, by the way, is the same as the word used in the name of the dynasty, which also means "brilliant.") Inside, at the crossing of the four tunnels, is a stele with the inscription "Tomb of the Accomplished Emperor Chengzu." (This was Zhu Di's temple name.) Above it are the characters Ta Ming, "Great Ming." The actual tomb is deep under a tumulus or artificial hill behind the tower. It remains unexcavated, like all the Ming tombs with the exception of Dingling, the tomb of Shenzong, the Wanli Emperor.

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