Bronze trove unearthed in Western Zhou Dynasty tomb

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Since August, work has been underway excavating a tomb from the Western Zhou Dynasty in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Recently they have discovered 44 pieces of bronze ware, along with 2 pieces of pottery, which have all been buried for nearly 3,000 years. The artefacts will be unearthed in the next few days.

Bronze trove unearthed in Western Zhou Dynasty tomb
Archaeologists excavating a tomb from the Western Zhou Dynasty in Northwest China’s
Shaanxi Province eecently discovered 44 pieces of bronze ware [Credit: CNTV]

Rusty and incredibly delicate. This bronzeware has been buried for nearly 3,000 years. Wang Zhankui has been an archaeologist for the past 30 years, and even the bitterly cold weather couldn’t stop him from showing his excitement about this discovery.

Wang Zhankui, Archaeologist, Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, said, “This tomb has been remarkably preserved. This kind of burial custom and the quantity of bronze in the recessed niches is rarely seen and provides a great example for studies into the customs of the time.”

Bronze trove unearthed in Western Zhou Dynasty tomb
Some of the 3,000 year old bronze wares recently unearthed from the Western Zhou Dynasty
 in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province [Credit: CNTV]

Wang Zhankui and his team have been working at the site for the past 4 months. The bronzeware is located in 8 recesses inside the tomb.

The bronzeware would have served a variety of purposes- including cooking implements, food storage containers and for holding liquor and water.

Bronze trove unearthed in Western Zhou Dynasty tomb
Unearthed objects include dozens of bronze pieces and weapons, most of which are well preserved, making this one of the most important archaeological discoveries in China in the past 3 decades [Credit: CNTV]

“Based on the quantity and delicate patterns of the bronzeware, we guess that the owner of the tomb is no ordinary man. The owner must have been from a noble family.” Wang said.

Important inscriptions on bronze pieces was common practise at the time to record something significant. Experts hope they will find more evidence that will help identify the owner of the tomb after unearthing the relics.

Source: CNTV [December 28, 2013]

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