Tomb cluster discovered in SW China’s Sichuan

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Archaeologists in southwest China’s Sichuan Province have unearthed a tomb cluster and other ruins dating back between the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), local authorities said.

Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
Western Han Dynasty burials divided into rectangular (or trapezoidal) vertical hole earth pit tombs
[Credit: Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology]




Since late March this year, 165 tombs, 13 ash pits, 11 trenches and three pottery kilns have been excavated from a construction site in Wuyi village of Pengshan District in the city of Meishan, according to the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. More than 900 pieces and sets of burial objects were also unearthed from the site.

Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
Funeral objects recovered from the tombs include pottery, bronze wares, iron and silver jewellery and figurines
[Credit: Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology]




“The cluster features a long span of more than 2,000 years and the tombs were densely built,” said Li Wantao with the institute and person in charge of the excavation project, which was carried out concertedly by the institute and the Pengshan cultural relics protection and research institute. Li added that the excavation work is in progress and more discoveries will be made in the future.

Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
Ceramic figurine of civil servant [Credit: Sichuan Provincial Institute
of Cultural Relics and Archaeology]

Based on historical records, archaeologists confirmed that the tomb cluster was on the position of Wuyang, an ancient city, and a burial ground for the descendants of ancient Shu Kingdom centered around today’s Sichuan.

Tomb cluster discovered in SW China's Sichuan
The survey and exploration area was 148.6 acres, and a large number of tombs, pottery kilns, ditches
and ash pits were discovered from the Warring States to Ming and Qing Dynasties
[Credit: Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology]

“The long span and diverse shapes of the tombs, as well as the multiple combinations of burial objects, all reflect the unification process of ancient Shu civilization and the Chinese civilization, and they have great academic value,” Li said.

Source: Xinhua News Agency [July 24, 2020]

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