3000-year-old tomb group found in Xinjiang

08:50, February 16, 2011      

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The Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology reported on Feb. 14 that it discovered an ancient tomb group covering an area of more than 10,000 square meters 100 kilometers south of Hami City in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This is the first time that a tomb group dating back 3,000 years has been found in Hami region.

Chinanews reported that the tombs group has a large scale and a dense distribution. It was also the first time that a tomb with a sacrificial altar was found in the Xinjiang region. Most burial objects were made of pottery and wood, but some objects made from stones, bones, horns, bronze and iron were also found here.

The director of Hami's Cultural Relics Bureau said archaeologists had already excavated more than 150 ancient tombs in the last two months.

At the excavation site, archaeologists found something special, including some materials never before discovered, special construction styles and some unique burial customs. In addition, they also found various precious cultural relics under unique cultural background.

Judging from the current situation of the group, archaeologist said it might be remains of an early Iron Age settlement dating back about 3,000 years ago.

The tomb group was located at the southern margin of ancient Silk Road. From those unearthed cultural relics, archaeologists were able to ascertain that the ecological environment, including the amount of water and plants, was much more favorable at the time than they are currently.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online
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