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2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered at Beijing building site

The Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history with advances in science and medicine as well as the flourishing of poetry, literature and beautiful artwork.

2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered at Beijing building site
A tomb dating from the Han Dynasty, which ruled between 206 BC to 220 AD
 has been found during building work on a site in a subrub of Beijing, China 
[Credit: Imaginechina/Rex/Shutterstock]
Now, a tomb dating from the time of the grand dynasty has been discovered on a building site in a suburb of Beijing.

As well as its humble location in modern times, the burial is disappointingly devoid of treasures.

That may not come as a surprise as the tomb dates from between 206 BC to 220 AD.

Archaeologists suspect the tomb was robbed and security measures have been bolstered as the excavation carries on.

2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered at Beijing building site
As well as its humble location on a building site in modern times, the burial 
is disappointingly devoid of treasures, unlike some of the final resting 
places of several members of the Han royal family 
[Credit: Imaginechina/Rex/Shutterstock]
It is not thought the tomb belonged to a member of the Han Dynasty royal family.

This is because they were typically buried near the capital of Chang’an (modern Xi'an), which lay at the beginning of the important Silk Road trade route, or near the Han family's home town of Xuhou.

However, excavations at the site are continuing.

A handful of Han burials, such as those of the Kings of Chu, yielded gold and jades, including an incredible jade suits and stone-inlaid coffins.

2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered at Beijing building site
It is not thought the tomb belonged to a member of the Han Dynasty royal family, 
however, because they were typically buried near the capital of Chang’an (modern Xi'an), 
which lay at the beginning of the important Silk Road trade route 
[Credit: Imaginechina/Rex/Shutterstock]
Jade was believed to protect the body from decay and demons.

Tombs were typically filled with provisions for the afterlife, such as jewellery, furniture, weapons and sometimes even cooks and servants who were sacrificed to serve their master for eternity.

Another two-storey tomb contained a small army of terracotta warriors and distinctive jades.

Most of the royal tombs containing a number of tombs were cut horizontally into the hillside - another suggestion this one did not hold a king.

2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered at Beijing building site
The 'new' tomb was found beneath the construction site of Beijing's second administrative
 centre in suburban Tongzhou. Beijing is building a subsidiary centre in the suburb in a 
bid to cure ‘urban ills’ including overpopulation, traffic congestion and smog 
 [Credit: Imaginechina/Rex/Shutterstock]
Other types of Han tombs featured archways, vaulted cambers and domed roofs, with underground vaults held in place by earthen pits.

It is not clear from the photos released whether the newly discovered tomb is one of this type.

The 'new' tomb was found beneath the construction site of Beijing's second administrative centre in suburban Tongzhou.

Beijing is building a subsidiary centre in the suburb in a bid to cure ‘urban ills’ including overpopulation, traffic congestion and smog.

It is expected to relocate about 400,000 residents from the city centre to the suburban district.

Author: Sarah Griffiths | Source: Daily Mail Online [March 17, 2016]
TANN

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