Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wooden figurines older than terracotta warrior found in Zhou Tomb

"Recently, a Chinese archaeological team working in Hanchen City, Shaanxi Province, excavated an ancient tomb from the Zhou Dynasty ((1046-221 B.C.) and discovered many precious historical relics. Inside one chamber they found four wooden figurines with color painted design. To this day, these figurines are the earliest known in China. They have been dated 500 years older than the terracotta soldiers and horses of the Qin Dynasty (221-205 B.C.)

The cemetery of the Zhou Dynasty in Liangdai Village, Hanchen City, covers 330,000 square meters. The second excavation project began on March 23 this year. Up until now, twenty well-preserved and undisturbed tombs were excavated.

In two tombs, the archaeological team discovered a large number of cultural relics including bronze ceremonial instruments, kettles, dishes, various musical instruments, chimes, weapons, horse-drawn carriages, pottery, lacquer articles, jade-axes and other jade items.

From the layout of funerary objects and weapons in one such tomb, archaeologists think that the occupant must have been a king."