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800-year-old tombs unearthed in N.China province 2007-03-30 16:32:54
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    SHIJIAZHUANG, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists working in Shexian county in north China's Hebei province have discovered a group of 800-year-old tombs from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Jin Dynasty (1115-1234).

    Archaeologists with the Hebei provincial cultural relic research institute say that the tomb group, which covers an area of 2,600 square meters, comprises 17 tombs.

    The archaeologists have unearthed 146 historical artifacts from the tombs, including 126 copper coins, 15 china utensils, one silver earring, one copper ring, one crystal bead and a brick bearing a man's portrait.

    Initial findings indicate that 110 of the coins were made during the Song Dynasty and the other 16 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), said an archaeologist.

    The brick, which is rarely seen in tombs, is 33.5 centimeters long, 17 centimeters wide and five centimeters thick. It shows a figure -- painted in Chinese ink -- wearing a long gown and boots and holding a sword in his right hand. The dress style suggests the figure is from an ethnic minority.

    Archaeologists say the tombs and artifacts will provide valuable clues to the study of funeral customs in the Song and Jineras.

Editor: Ling Zhu
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