Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Sunday, August 11, 2002
2000-year-old Aristocrat's Tomb Unearthed in China
A 2,000-year-old tomb believed to be that of a feudal prince, has been unearthed in northwest China. The tomb is the largest found in the region, and from the quality of the burial articles, experts assume that it belongs to Shangluo Marquis from the Eastern Han Dynasty (24 BC - 220 AD).
A 2,000-year-old tomb believed to be that of a feudal prince, has been unearthed in northwest China.
The tomb is the largest found in the region, and from the quality of the burial articles, experts assume that it belongs to Shangluo Marquis from the Eastern Han Dynasty (24 BC - 220 AD).
The brick tomb on Donglong Mountain in Shangluo City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has four chambers and a hall.
The double parallel tunnels, both 32 meters long and connectingthe chambers, makes the tomb different to others of the period, experts say.
The two chambers in the east and west, the most important, are for a couple and contain a large number of bronze coins. The male body in the west chamber is obviously of higher rank, in view of oblations like a bronze "ding", a three-legged cauldron, jade cicadas, iron swords and incense burners, according to Yang Yachang, an archaeologist.
The tomb is special because it features both northern and southern Chinese cultures, which evolved relatively independently during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD), Liu Daiyun, also an archaeologist, pointed out.
The tomb was located at the border of the orbits of the ancient Kingdom Chu, representing the culture in south China, and the Han Dynasty in the north. Its unique nature was revealed in the excavation of pieces of glazed pottery with typical Chu characteristics, Liu said. The pottery will also give valuable clues to the actual reach of the Chu culture, he added.
Tiles found in the earth mound over the tomb indicated annexes could be found nearby, according to experts.
Shaanxi has one of the "eight wonders of the world" -- the Terracotta Horses and Warriors -- in its capital Xi'an, and the country's most important site, the Donglong Mountain relics of the Xia (c.2200 BC - c.1700 B.C. ), Shang (c.1700 BC - c.1200 BC) and Zhou (c.1200 BC - 221 BC) Dynasties.