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2,000-year-old bronze goose-fish lamp with adjustable light unearthed

By Huang Jin (People's Daily Online)    07:55, November 13, 2015
2,000-year-old bronze goose-fish lamp with adjustable light unearthed
The bronze goose-fish lamp dating back to the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC to 8 AD). (Photo/Xinhua)

A 2,000-year-old bronze goose-fish lamp has been unearthed in an ancient tomb belonging to a nobleman dating back to the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC to 8 AD)in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi province. To people's surprise, the lamp is not only beautifully shaped, but also boasts the function of an adjustable light and environmentally friendly system.

Two bronze goose-fish lamps have been discovered this time. The geese have fat bodies, slender necks, short tails and webbed feet, with the posture of turning their heads back, catching a fish in their beaks.

"The goose-fish lamp not only reflects the great technical skills at the time, but also contains the scientific principles and the wisdom of the ancients," said Xin Lixiang, the leader of the archaeological excavation team. The lampshade was designed as two flexible curved panels that can be opened and closed. It serves not only as a windshield, but also to adjust the brightness of the light.

The bodies of the fish and geese are hollow. The fumes produced by the kerosene or wax will be blocked by shade, and pass into the bodies of the geese and fish. Xin speculated that the ancients may have injected water in the bellies of the geese at the time, as the soot can be dissolved in water.

Xin believes that the lamps would have been extremely expensive at the times. It would not have been used by ordinary people, only the nobility. 


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(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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