¡¡¡¡CHENGDU, Nov. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese archaeologists have found colorful murals
on walls inside six cliff tombs dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty
¡¡¡¡The tombs are located on a mountain cliff in Zhongjiang County of southwest
China's Sichuan Province.
¡¡¡¡The third tomb, described as the most valuable by Chinese archaeologists,
looks like a luxury hotel with a 13-meter-long entry way, a 20 by 1.8 meter
coffin chamber, rear chambers, a coffin platform and a niche.
¡¡¡¡The murals, painted in vivid colors including red, yellow, black, white and
green, depict many themes, among them, doormen, fish, snakes chasing rats and a
tomb owner drinking at a banquet. A 150-word text, hand-written in ink, tells
the story of the family status and life experience of the tomb owner.
¡¡¡¡Experts have concluded, after analyzing the murals, that the owner was
probably a native of Nanyang who had served as a senior official near the end of
the Eastern Han Dynasty. He was later persecuted by a eunuch and exiled to
Sichuan on charges of delivering a false imperial edict. He had led 100,000
soldiers inbattle and had made outstanding achievements on the battlefield.
¡¡¡¡Some archaeologists believe that the tomb owner must have been a very important official
because few people led armies of 100,000 men at that time. If the
existence of this individual who does not appear in history books is proven,
it will constitute an importanthistorical omission.
¡¡¡¡Lin Xiang, a professor of the History Department at Sichuan University, said,
"This is the only hand-written text from the Han Dynasty that I have ever
seen. Moreover, the text, penned in official style, demonstrates a strong
mastery of writing techniques and use of ink."
¡¡¡¡Zhang Zhongpei, vice-president of the China Society of Archaeology, said,
"They are the first group of murals painted in cliff tombs I have ever seen.
They are valuable to the study of social relationships in the Han Dynasty.