Beijing — Chinese archaeologists have unearthed relics, including an ancient copper mill, suggesting that prehistoric humans may have lived along the Silk Road long before it became a pivotal Eurasian trade route about 2,000 years ago.
A three year old excavation project in the ruins in northwest China”s Gansu Province has yielded evidence to show that people who lived on the west bank of the Heihe River 4,100 to 3,600 years ago were able to grow crops and smelt copper, the Chinese researchers said.
The site is believed to date back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220).
Over the past three years, archaeologists have discovered a variety of copper items, as well as equipment used to smelt metal, said Chen Guoke, a researcher with the Gansu Provincial Institute of Archaeology. Read more.
Twenty ancient tombs have been discovered near the Three Gorges Reservoir in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, archaeologists said Saturday.
The tombs, which date back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220), were discovered at the Ma’anshan Tomb Site on the bank of the Yangtze River in Fengdu County, according to the municipal cultural relics and archaeology institute.
Archaeologists have found more than 430 artifacts in the tombs, including pottery, bronze and iron ware.
The tombs and artifacts will help archaeologists gain greater insight into local funeral customs, as well as social and economic conditions during the Han Dynasty, the institute said.
The Three Gorges Reservoir is on the upper-middle reaches of the Yangtze, China’s longest river. (source)
JINAN: A 2,000-year-old bronze mirror workshop has been excavated in east China’s Shandong Province in the first such discovery in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
Bai Yunxiang, deputy director of the archeological institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that more than 100 stone moulds along with foundry pits, wells and blastpipes were unearthed at a site in a village near Zibo City.
The workshop is believed to have been active in the early period of the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), when the once-costly bronze mirrors gradually became household objects. Read more.
BEIJING: Archaeologists have excavated about 3,500kg of ancient coins in China’s Inner Mongolia Region, Xinhua reported on Sunday. Most of these coins were in prevalence during the Han dynasty (202 BC-220 AD).
According to Lian Jilin, a researcher with the regional Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the coins were found in three millennia-old coin pits in the ancient town of Huoluochaideng after police cracked three theft cases.
Most of the coins were “Huoquan”, the coins commonly used in the Han dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), said Lian.
Archaeologists also excavated over 100 casting moulds from the relics of a coin workshop. Read more.
In the first exhibition of its kind, the Fitzwilliam Museum will relate the story of the quest for immortality and struggle for imperial legitimacy in ancient China’s Han Dynasty.
The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China (May 5-November 11) will feature over 350 treasures in jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics in the largest and most important exhibition of ancient royal treasures ever to travel outside China.
The Han Dynasty established the basis for unified rule of China up to the present day. To maintain this hard-won empire the Han emperors had to engage in a constant struggle for power and legitimacy, with contests that took place on symbolic battlefields as much as on real ones. While written accounts provide an outline of these events, it is through the stunning archaeological discoveries of recent decades that the full drama and spectacle of this critical episode in Chinese history has been brought to life. Read more.
NANCHANG, April 16 (Xinhua) — Archaeologists in east China’s Jiangxi province said Monday they have found a cluster of tombs dating back 1,800 years.
The cluster includes seven tombs believed to belong to one family from the Eastern Han Dynasty (24-220 AD), said Wang Shanghai, deputy chief of the provincial cultural relics and archaeological institute.
Local farmers discovered the tombs on a hill in Lingli village, Sixi township, Shanggao county, while doing agricultural cultivation work in early March, said Wang.
The institute began excavation work on the tombs on March 12 in cooperation with the county’s museum, and have so far unearthed more than 100 items, such as earthenware, porcelain, silver accessories and gold rings, he said.
The tombs were arranged in an orderly fashion and their styles and grave items were all identical — evidence that it was a family tomb cluster.
The discovery has provided vital data for the research of China’s traditional familial grave customs and culture, he said. (source)
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 Read more.
A large group of ancient tombs from six different dynasties were discovered at Huqiu County of Suzhou city in Jiangsu province.
The earliest of the tombs dates back to the early part of the Eastern Han dynasty, and the tombs are from different eras that overlap with one another, which present a spectacular scene. It is a rare find in the archaeological history of Suzhou.
Archaeologists are now excavating the tombs have already unearthed a wide variety of precious cultural relics, including pottery, porcelain, bronze mirror and gold hairpins.
The recently discovered massive tomb group is located to the southwest of Huqiu scenic area. The place is undergoing a comprehensive improvement project. The natives call this area the Tomb of the Family Song. An archaeologist said that the of Family Song’s Tomb remains were a big mound of 2,000 square meters, with a height of 6 meters at the highest point, and they are about 1,000 meters from the Huqiu scenic area. Read more.