Twenty-five tombs spanning from Shang Dynasty to Ming Dynasty are found during an excavation at Xintang county in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. [Photo/Guangzhou Daily] 

Twenty-five tombs spanning from Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) were found during an excavation at Xintang county in Guangzhou of Guangdong province.

The findings included three tombs from Shang Dynasty, one pit tomb from the late Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD), 19 brick-chambered tombs from Jin (265-420) and Southern Dynasties (420-589), one pit tomb from Tang Dynasty (618-907) and one tomb from Ming Dynasty.

The archaeological site is located at Longjingshan and Zongzaigang, which is in Zengcheng Economic and Technological Development District’s Xintang county, and 36 kilometers away from urban Guangzhou. A total area of 66,000 square meters was under excavation.

Zhu Hairen, head of the archaeological team said these tombs have special features compared with tombs from Six Dynasties (222–589) in Guangzhou ancient town, which are rare to find in excavations in Guangzhou.

There was also an abundance of unearthed relics: stone tomahawks, crystal penannular jade ring, sonim pottery kettle from Shang Dynasty, copper bowl, copper washing bowl, terrine from Western Han Dynasty, chicken-spout pot, dishes, bowls, and small cups from Jin and Southern Dynasties.

Zhu said that stone tomahawks were a kind of sacrificial vessel during Shang Dynasty and was a symbol of power, which reveals that the tomb owner may have had military power during his lifetime.

Such densely distributed and well-preserved tombs from Jin and Southern Dynasties have been discovered for the first time beside the ancient Guangzhou town, and the largest tomb cluster from Six Dynasties in Zengcheng district, which shows that a large group of people had lived along Zengjiang River since Six Dynasties.

The archaeological work started in September this year and will be completed soon. The archaeological team will extract all the unearthed relics and refill the tombs later.

China Daily,


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