3,000-year-old tombs bear secrets of Zeng State

Archaeologists announced that more than 2,000 relics dating back more than 3,000 years and discovered in central China's Hubei Province are likely to reveal the mysteries of the Zeng State during the early Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC).

3,000-year-old tombs bear secrets of Zeng State
Two excavations at the Yejiashan Graveyard in Suizhou City have led to the discovery
of 140 tombs and 7 horse pits [Credit: wenwuchina.com]
Two excavations at the Yejiashan Graveyard in Suizhou City, which began in June 2011 and March 2013 respectively, have led to the discovery of 140 tombs and 7 horse pits, where a large amount of pottery, bronzeware, lacquerware, protoporcelain and jade were unearthed, said Huang Fengchun, head of the excavation team, at a symposium on Monday.

The graveyard consists of a cluster of tombs believed to have belonged to three emperors of the Zeng State, an affiliated state of the Western Zhou Dynasty.

The excavation of the Yejiashan Graveyard is of great academic significance for the research of the enfeoffment system in the Western Zhou Dynasty, said Ye.

Further excavation will probably unravel the mysteries of the Zeng emperors, said Li Boqian, an archaeologist at Peking University.

First discovered in 2011, the Yejiashan Graveyard was named among China's Top 10 Archeological Findings that year by China Cultural Heritage News, a publication affiliated with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

The latest excavation has found the dynasty's first painted bronze and a tomb holding a set of 19 dings (cooking vessels) and 12 guis (food containers), which surpassed the burial norms for a king.

Source: Xinhuanet [December 31, 2013]

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