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Marble Door of Dingling

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Details of Marble door of Dingling

In front of the antechamber, central chamber and rear chamber stood huge white marble doors, all similar in appearance.

Each door slab weighed four tons and was made of a whole piece f marble, 3.3 meters high and 1.7 meter wide. It was 40 cm thick at the hinges, but tapered off towards the middle to reduce the pressure on the pivots, so that the heavy doors could be opened easily. A bronze crossbeam of about ten tons was installed on the top to ensure the two heavy panels.

  • The self-acting stone
    The self-acting stone, 1.6 meters high, was used as a stone block in each chamber to shut the door from inside. Its lower end was placed in a hole in front of the door while its upper end leaned against the back of the door. Then the door couldn't be opened from outside.

    • How the was opened from outside?
      With the four-cm-wide gap between the two door slabs, people doing the excavation work managed to open the door by fitting in a wire to hold the stone block and use a piece of plank to push it down.

      The ink-writing on the first stone block reads: The self-acting stones of the seven doors in the palace are not yet tested. Hence the name self-acting stone.

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