Friday, April 13, 2012

Fifty-Three Han, Tang and Song Dynasty Tombs Uncovered

The report is rather understated, I think!  This is in incredibly important discovery. I sincerely hope the government will do everything (and I do mean everything) to protect those tombs and, as is quite apparent from the photographs that accompany the article, the artifacts that have already been removed from the tombs, including one or more absolutely priceless Han Dynasty bronze "mirrors."  Sad to say, the originals of these artifacts have probably already disappeared into the "private collections" of high mucky-muck Communist Party Politburo princes. 

From China Daily
Han Dynasty Tombs Found by Accident
Updated: 2012-04-13

More than 50 ancient and rare relics were uncovered in a tomb excavation in Guxian County, Anhui province. The 53-tomb complex is believed to have been under construction over many dynastic periods dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty nearly 2,000 years ago.

The tomb complex was discovered accidentally on a construction site. It contains over 50 brick tombs from the Eastern Han, Tang and Song dynasties.
Experts identified the type of people who were buried there.
Zhao Lanhui, deputy researcher of the Bengbu Cultural Relics Institute, said, "lying south to north would perhaps be people of four generations. Due to its size, we know the tombs come from the Song Dynasty. It's small with a simple style.
The tombs hold a unique character that were built in an animal shape."
Though some tombs have been plundered over the years, precious relics have emerged, such as bronze mirrors, gold and silver garments, along with pottery boxes.

This is a photo from the article.  Not captioned, so it could be "any" Bronze Mirror rather than one
 recovered from one of the Han Dynasty tombs.  Bronze Mirrors went out of fashion at the
end of the Han Dynast; they were tied to Taoist philosophy and the Queen Mother of the West, and were
 used for divination. I am not able to tell from this photo if this is a TLV mirror or a "cloud" pattern mirror.
Many people buried here were considered common people, until the discovery of a special, delicate and well-preserved mirror.
Zhou Chongwen, archaeologist, said, "It's a relatively large bronze mirror, which means the owner held social status."
An archeological study is continuing on into its history and the people who lived here.
It's generating much interest in local heritage and cultural identity.

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