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Two-story Jin Dynasty tomb unearthed in N China

(Xinhua)

15:24, December 01, 2011

TAIYUAN, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- A two-story, Jin Dynasty-era (AD265-420) tomb in the shape of a tower pavilion -- a style that had previously only been seen on frescos from that period -- has been unearthed in Changzhi, a city in north China's Shanxi province.

Yang Linzhong, an archeologist with the Shanxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics, said Thursday that the 5.5-meters-high tomb was built with blue bricks engraved with exquisite decoration, and its structure mimics wooden buildings from that time.

"Two-story tombs from the Jin Dynasty have rarely been unearthed, but we have seen this type of tomb on murals in other tombs," said Yang.

He said the tomb was discovered when a local plant was building a workshop, and the institute carried out an emergent excavation in October after receiving the report of the finding.

The 17-chamber tomb features an arched top, windows and cornice brackets, and is furnished with living necessities, such as a well, a stone mill, pots and ceramic items.

Yang said that the tomb does not have a gravestone or an inscription revealing the identity of its master, but experts with the institute believe it was occupied by a wealthy family.

Archeologists also found another one-story tomb from the same period 4.5 meters away, which is believed to have been occupied by kindred clans of the wealthy family.

Yang said that the tombs are of great value in the study of the period's funeral customs and social and economic situations.

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