2000 years Golden pearls from Maritime Silk Road unearthed in Guangzhou

17:14, September 20, 2010      

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On Sept. 19, a multi-faceted and hollowed-out golden ball with hundreds of sesame-sized golden pearls affixed to the surface was excavated in Guangzhou city.

The golden ball was unearthed in a large brick and wooden structure early Eastern Han Dynasty tomb together with 111 sets of burial accessories.

It was also inside this tomb that archaeologists unearthed the greatest number of bronze wares out of all the Eastern Han Dynasty tombs discovered in Guangzhou in recent years.

The most valuable relics in this tomb were more than 20 pieces of well-preserved bronze wares in the main chamber, according to relic preservation staff on site.

And among the 20 bronze wares, the most attractive one was a wine-warming goblet with three feet and an attached tray, which was the first of its kind to be unearthed.

Though its surface was completely oxidized into a green color, the decorative patterns on the body of the bottle were still clearly visible.

The most valuable of burial accessories was the pearl-encrusted golden ball, which, according to experts on site, was probably imported from abroad by the Maritime Silk Road at that time.

It was reported that a sword measuring more than 1 meter long decorated with jade was especially noticeable in the male master’s coffin. Working staff said such a long sword was quite rare, so the man in the coffin was probably a prominent general.

It was also reported that as many as 11 copper and iron weapons, including swords, spears and halberds as well as a copper cross-bow, which was the most lethal long-range weapon in those times, were excavated.

Experts said this again proved that the male in coffin probably was a prominent general.

Meanwhile, two sets of ink stone for Chinese calligraphy were unearthed in the coffin, reflecting a civil and military capacity during his lifetime.

The most special burial accessory was a small vivid miniature stove with a dragon-shaped chimney, four cooking pots and figures of cooking slaves.

The tomb was the joint-burial kind for master and mistress, which included an antechamber and a main chamber.

By Li Mu, People's Daily Online


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