Burial site found on bank of Yellow River in Henan

By Shi Baoyin in Zhengzhou and Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-05-29 10:07
A relic from a large tomb cluster in Sanmenxia, Henan province [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese archaeologists recently discovered 602 ancient tombs and more than 2,000 burial items on the bank of the Yellow River, the local cultural authority in Henan province announced.

The large tomb cluster is located in a village of the city of Sanmenxia, 500 meters from the Yellow River, according to Zheng Lichao, director of Sanmenxia's institute of cultural relics and archaeology.

Nearly half the tombs are believed to date to the time between the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220). The rest are from other dynasties, including the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1276), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911), Zheng said.

Zheng said the tombs were discovered when his team examined the site of a shantytown makeover project.

"We have carried out three archaeological excavations since October 2017, spanning an area of 37,600 square meters," Zheng said.

More than 2,000 burial items were dug out, including pottery, bronze and iron ware, gold and silver ornaments, jade artifacts and stoneware. Some of the itemshad unique shapes, and exquisite designs and are believed to have high historical and artistic value.

Experts said that the tombs are laid out in an orderly row adjacent to ancient Shanzhou city, part of today's Sanmenxia, which has over 2,000 years of history and once served as a military and traffic hub.

They believed that the discovery sheds light on the declining political power center in the Sanmenxia area.

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