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Author Topic: Archaeologists unearth treasure from 2,500-year-old tomb  (Read 136 times)
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« on: July 02, 2007, 02:12:54 PM »

Archaeologists unearth treasure from 2,500-year-old tomb

Beijing, July. 1 (PTI): Chinese archaeologists excavating a 2,500-year-old tomb in east China's Jiangxi Province have discovered a well-preserved body, many pieces of bronze, gold, silver items and porcelain and jade from one of the 47 coffins discovered.

   The tomb, in Lijia village in Jing'an county, is 16 metres long, about 11.5 metres wide and three metres deep. It is believed to date back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-221 BC).

   It is the largest group of coffins ever discovered in a single tomb and the excavation has been dubbed "the most important archaeology project of the year" by cultural experts and media.

   Nine coffins were opened by archaeologists earlier because they were rotten and partly destroyed by tomb robbers.

   Archaeologists opened another coffin today and found a relatively complete human skeleton, bodily tissue, as well as many bronze, gold and silver items including porcelain and jade.

   "This is the first time that such a complete bone structure was found in southern China and it will fill in gaps in the study of human bone structure in the pre-Qin era (770-221 BC)," said Zhu Hong, a palaeoanthropological expert from Jilin University.

   Zhu said the unique burial style could be one reason why the skeleton was preserved so well in an area where the soil was acidic and unfavourable for preservation of human body.

   The coffins were made from halved nanmu, a rare and extremely durable wood, and covered in a layer of loess. They were fire-heated to make them solid, pressurised and waterproof, Xinhua news agency reported.


Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 12:23:36 PM »

The tomb, in Lijia village in Jing'an county...

The straight translation of Lijia:
Li Jia - Li family

The meaning has widened.

Ming dynasty administration
...provided community chiefs, who were intermediaries between the citizenry at large and the formal agencies of government. This system of social organization, called lijia (later replaced by or coexistent with a local defense system called baojia), served to stabilize, regulate, and indoctrinate the populace...

Lijia culture
Early Neolithic (7000-5000 BCE) culture of northern China. Permanent villages of people living on dry cultivation of fox tail and broomcorn millet; domesticated dogs, pigs, chickens, and possibly sheep.

Zhouyuan have been a treasure trove of ancient bronze ware for decades. Just last week, Xinhua reported that local farmers there unearthed some 80 relics dating back to the Western Zhou Dynasty. Two were of bronze. In April last year, archaeologists were delighted to stumble upon the ruins of bronze workshops spreading across Zhuangbai and Lijia villages where, it is thought, this beautiful bronze ware was made.

The researchers named the ruins the Lijia Bronze Workshop. Here they found, among other pieces, pottery moulds with intricate engravings for the making of the bronze pieces.

The discovery of the Li Family bronze workshop ruins showed the high technical standard of bronze production of that period and will contribute greatly to the research of the manufacturing techniques of bronze ware, according to Xu Tianjin, who led a joint team of researchers from Peking University, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Shaanxi Archaeology Research Institute in the excavation.
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