The Wei- and Jin Tombs are ancient tombs of brick paintings dating back 265-420 AD.
There was some kind of settlement here in this wide corridor between the Qilian Mountains to the north and the Mazong (Horses' Manes) Mountains to the north since at least Han Dynasty times some two thousand years ago. More than a thousand tombs dating from the Wei (220 AD - 265 AD) and Western Jin (265 AD - 316 AD) dynasties are scattered around the surrounding desert.
Weijin Tomb-underground art gallery
In recent years, more than 10 graves dating to Wei and Jin Periods (220 AD - 420 AD) have been excavated in the Gobi, some 20 km. east of Jiayuguan. These graves are brick-laid and more than 700 bricks are vividly painted in gay colours.
Renowned as the largest subterranean art gallery in the world, housing a great deal of colorful murals, the gallery has attracted tourists from both home and abroad Most tombs are of families, housing bodies of three or four generations, and now only Grave 6 and Grave 7 are open for tourism.
Scattered in an area of more than 20 square kilometers east of Jiayuguan and west of Jiuquan are more than 1,400 tombs dating from the Wei and Jin periods (220 AD -420 AD). These tombs are brick laid and contain beautiful wall paintings. They are referred to as the largest underground gallery in the world. Excavation of some of the tombs started in 1972 in the Gobi desert in the town of Xincheng some 20 kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan. The wall paintings discovered are lifelike and succinct in style and cover a wide range of subjects including politics, economics, culture, military affairs, folk customs, and science and technology during the Wei and Jin periods. They were done earlier than those in the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang and are the first Wei-Jin wall paintings ever found in China.