Large ancient graves from Western Han Dynasty found in Chongqing

16:21, November 12, 2010      

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Seventeen graves from the Western Han Dynasty were discovered at a construction site. (photo:Chongqing Evening News )

Seventeen graves from the Western Han Dynasty were discovered at a construction site for the reformation of Beibei District in Chongqing on Nov. 11.

The 110 unearthed fine cultural relics that were found have both typical Ba State cultural characteristics, as well as traces of the Qin and Han dynasties.

There were over 110 cultural objects unearthed. Among the relics were bronze ware, including willow leaf swords, brass spears, seals, coins, brass knives, brass bells and brass rings; iron ware, including iron swords and knives, and pottery, including round bottom jars, flat bottom jars, kettles and earthen bowls, according to Lin Bizhong, assistant director of the Chongqing Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

The cultural objects unearthed this time have obvious traces of multiple cultures.

Experts speculated that the willow leaf swords, brass spears and seals are typical relics from the ancient Ba State, and the brass garlic-head pot is the product of the Qin Dynasty, and the flat bottom jars and grey potteries belong to the Han Dynasty. The funerary objects that blend the three culture types indicates that the graves are probably of the Cong ethnic group, recording the last years when the culture of the Ba State was blended with the culture of the Central Plains.

According to sources, archaeologists discovered many boat-shaped coffins of the Ba people at the site of Dongyinba in Baxian County in the 1950s. Although only the teeth from the remains were found in the coffins, there were more than 10 weapons, wooden combs, pieces of pottery, lacquer ware and wooden trays.

An official of the Chongqing Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said that since so many graves from the Western Han Dynasty have been discovered on the old Huangjue Street, a large-scale residential area of the Western Han people was most likely located around it.

The institute will increase the exploration intensity in nearby areas. At present, the 110 unearthed cultural relics have not been cleaned completely. Once the cleaning is finished, it will be able to provide stronger evidence about the disappearance of the Cong people.

Chongqing Evening News contributes to this report.

By People's Daily Online


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