Most complete Western Han Dynasty cemetery discovered

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-11-06 11:07:44

The team have recovered many musical instruments such as chimes, se (a 25-stringed plucked instrument), panflutes and sheng (a reed pipe wind instrument), as well as terracotta figurines showing how the instruments were played.

It is also the only tomb excavated in south of Yangtze River with real vehicles. "The chariot burial is an important part of the tomb," Xu said. Five well-preserved horse-drawn vehicles have been found, each with four sacrificed horses, and more than 3,000 accessories embellished with gold and silver. "The discovery will be important for the study of hierarchical burial customs and articles used in burial," he said.

Tombs of some other aristocrats have led the team to believe that the dig may be the site of the capital of the Haihun Kingdom. The entire site covers five square kilometers.

"The discovery can help us understand the social, economic and cultural status in Western Han Dynasty, and even the development of music, transportation, metrology, and the evolution of Chinese characters and arts," Xu said.

Li Xiaojie, vice minister of culture and director of the State Bureau of Cultural Relics, has ordered that work of the cemetery should be aimed at applying for UNESCO's world heritage listing.

Jiangxi's cultural department use high-tech sampling and recording to document information and data. Several labs and research teams have been set up to work separately on archaeobotany, zooarchaeology as well as studies on textiles, metals and historical records.

Related: China's Jiangxi releases achievements on study of royal tombs

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