””””LUOYANG, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- While Greek sculptors made the legendary
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the world's Seven Wonders, in Turkey over
2,300 years ago, Chinese aristocrats were building hundreds of tombs in this
ancient capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 B.C.).
””””Up to 279 tombs and 10 sacrificial pits for horses and horse-drawn vehicles
of the time have been found lying within a mere 6,000 sq. m. area in Luoyang
city in central China's Henan Province.Historians believe the mausoleum was
destroyed as early as the 11th century.
””””Archaeologists found the tombs at a construction site in the central square
in the downtown city. The site is referred to as graveyards for noble families
of the period in local records.
””””A sacrificial horse pit, believed to be the largest of its kinddiscovered
so far in Luoyang, is under excavation with experts on hand eager to unravel its
secrets. Horses and vehicles used to be buried alongside human bodies to
indicate the dead person's statusin ancient China.
””””The 19 small tombs already unearthed, containing earthenware and jade
articles, have been categorized as those for common people, while two bigger
ones, with horses, vehicle pits and a special tunnel to the coffin chamber,
belonged to noble families, according to experts.
””””So far over 1,000 tombs from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty have beenexcavated in
””””A 1950s archaeological search discovered 260 tombs of the same period in
the city, and the findings helped clarify the time-framefor earthenware use in
ancient central China.
””””With no official record of the 279 tombs, the discovery would provide
valuable clues in the study of the funeral culture and tomb styles of the
period, experts said. Enditem