June 12, 2006:

[achtung! kunst] *archaeology* : 2,500-year-old Imperial Tomb Excavated in Shaanxi (Zhou tombs, NW Shaanxi)

2,500-year-old Imperial Tomb Excavated in Shaanxi

Chinese archaeologists have discovered another ancient treasure trove of
jade, gold and bronze artifacts in a massive complex of tombs that
predates this area's famous terracotta warriors by more than 300 years.

The tomb is believed to be that of a ruler who lived more than 2,500
years ago in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Not far away is the
world-renowned burial site of China's first emperor, who lived 2,200
years ago, where thousands of terracotta warriors were discovered in the

At the newly discovered site a large number of bronze, jade and gold
objects, as well as weapons and musical instruments, have been unearthed
from the tomb complex, located at the Liangdai Village, Hancheng City of
Shaanxi Province.

Chinese archaeologists have found a total of 895 tombs and 64 chariot
pits dating back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100-221 BC).

Sun Bingjun, head of the excavation team, said two of the tombs belong
to a ruler and his wife who lived during the early part of the Spring
and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

Archaeologists came to this conclusion after discovering six large
bronze vases which were an ancient symbol of rule. Lacquer wear with
patterns of dragon, another symbol of imperial rule, and a large number
of gold and jade objects were also found.

Some of the burial objects are of a type that have never been previously
discovered. Some of the artifacts are the oldest and best preserved of
their kind in China, said archaeologists.

Archaeologists have also found 22 pieces of exquisite bronze ware,
indicating an advance bronze-making technology.

More than 500 pieces of intricately carved jade were found in the tomb
of the wife of the ruler. These include jade jewelry inlaid with
precious stones and jade carving of silkworms and tortoises.

Archaeologists are continuing the excavation.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2006)




with kind regards,

Matthias Arnold (Art-Eastasia list)



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