China archeological news in brief: tombs tell ancient stories; prehistoric plant found

15:21, March 06, 2011      

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The following are highlights of China's archeological news reported Sunday.


Archeologists in east China's Jiangsu Province said Sunday they had unearthed some well-preserved corpses and silk and cotton clothing from five tombs that were at least 400 years old.

The corpses and clothing were found in coffins built of cypress or fir wood that were excavated from a construction site in downtown Taizhou City between 1979 and 2008.

One body was identified as a woman aged 50 or 60 years at death. Her clothes and cotton-padded boots remained intact and even her hair was not lost, though her body was found soaked in a yellowish liquid.

Experts believed the liquid was underground water that had seeped into the coffin and kept the moisture and temperature at a certain level to preserve the body.

Other coffins contained robes, pants, skirts, caps, shoes, towels and pillow cases.

Wang Weiyan, curator of the city museum, said the bodies and fabric had not decayed because the coffins were sealed and airtight.

Yet Wang and his colleagues said the tomb owners were all civilians, as little sacrificial items were found in their caskets.


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