¡¡¡¡LANZHOU, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Archeologists have confirmed a graveyard found
eight years ago in northwest China's Gansu Province contains the first mausoleum
of an ancestor of Emperor Qin Shihuang, who united China for the first time over
¡¡¡¡Archeologists believe "Xiquanqiu" in Lixian County was the birthplace of
the forefathers of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) and the cradle of Qin culture.
¡¡¡¡The conclusion was consistent with historical record: the founder of the
Qin Dynasty originally lived in "Xiquanqiu"; he wasgiven the title of "marquis"
for his outstanding skill in breedinghorses; he joined the Eastern Zhou Dynasty
(770-221 BC) and later established the Qin Dynasty.
¡¡¡¡It is generally believed four grand mausoleums were built in the Qin
Dynasty. By 1987 three had been identified. All are in northwest China's Shaanxi
Province, but the whereabouts of the first has been an unsolved riddle for
¡¡¡¡"The current excavation provides an answer to the riddle. It has proved
that the powerful Qin Dynasty was developed from a horse-rearing ethnic group on
China's western border. It gives a clue to studying the orignins, growth and
heyday of the Qin Dynasty," said Li Xueqin, director of the Institute of History
under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
¡¡¡¡Zhu Zhongxi, an official with the Gansu Provincial Museum,
said,"The discovery filled a gap in China's research on cultural development in the
early stages of the Qin Dynasty as well as the political, economic,
military, cultural, metalwork and cemetery development in that period."
¡¡¡¡The graveyard, 250 meters long and 140 meters wide, houses more than 200
tombs with two large ones and a joint grave where an aristocratic husband and
wife were buried together.
¡¡¡¡Archaeologists participating in the excavation claim to have ample evidence
to support their judgement. They point first to thefact that the tombs at
Dabaozi Mountain face east, in exactly the same way as the other three
mausoleums found in Shaanxi.
¡¡¡¡Secondly, the size of the tomb, more than 100 meters each way, tallies with
the characteristic grand scale of mausoleums in the Qin Dynasty.
¡¡¡¡Thirdly, the unique geographical feature, a mountain flanked bytwo rivers,
at Dabaozi Mountain is in line with the general requirements for the location of
a mausoleum in the Qin Dynasty.
¡¡¡¡Also, large amounts of bronzeware, which was popular in the QinDynasty,
have been unearthed from the mausoleum. Some items are engraved with the words
"cooking vessel of Marquis Qin" or "food vessel of Marquis Qin".
¡¡¡¡Moreover, Lixian County straddles both the Yangtze and Yellow River
systems, a major area of human habitation in ancient China.
¡¡¡¡The survey has attracted over 30 well-known archaeologists fromacross China
including Li Xueqin, who participated in the archeological project to establish
whether Huangdi and Yandi, two legendary ancestors of the Chinese nation, really
¡¡¡¡They believe the two major tombs at Dabaozi Mountain were builtin the early
stages of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-475 BC). However, they differ on the
probable owners. Enditem