Thursday, June 29, 2006

2000 year old tomb unearthed in central China

Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a large tomb, possibly the grave of an aristocrat, dating back 2,000 years in the central province of Hunan.

The tomb could belong to the eminent Changsha King appointed by an emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), archaeologists from Changsha Archaeology Research Institute cited initial study as saying.

Discovered at a construction site in northwestern Changsha, the provincial capital, the tomb is about 30 meters long and 15 meters wide, with high-quality construction techniques and design.

The tomb is the largest excavated in the province, and bigger than the Mawangdui Tomb, which is famous for the preserved 2,000-year-old women's corpse.

Grave robbers had broken into the tomb, stealing many funerary objects and causing serious damage.

Fortunately, the coffin remained intact. The identity of the tomb owner would be determined after the coffin was opened and seals or other materials are found, archaeologists said.

A bronze goat-shaped container, a gilded jade, a celadon bowl and a celadon jar were excavated from the tomb. Experts said the first two were original items in the tomb but the others were left by the robbers."