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3,000-year-old coffins discovered in central China


Three sets of coffins, believed to have been buried 3,000 years ago, were discovered in central China's Henan Province.

3,000-year-old coffins discovered in central China
Photo taken on April, 2016 shows the site of an ancient tomb discovered in Neihuang county, 
Central China's Henan province [Photo/VCG]
They were unearthed Monday and taken to a museum in Anyang City, according to local archaeological sources Tuesday.

Last month, a villager in Anshang's Neihuang County discovered ancient tombs while digging in a brick kiln. He uncovered bronze items as well as human and animal bones ten meters deep underground.

Following a preliminary excavation, experts from the Anyang institute of cultural relics and archaeology found 22 tombs from the late Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C.-1046 B.C.), the second in China's history.

They retrieved three sets of inner and outer coffins made of cypress wood from the tombs, as well as a single coffin. In ancient times, Chinese people used an outer coffin to protect the inner coffin.

3,000-year-old coffins discovered in central China
Photo taken on April, 2016 shows the site of an ancient tomb discovered in Neihuang county,
Central China's Henan province [Photo/VCG]
Kong Deming, head of the institute, told Xinhua that it is rare to see such well-preserved coffins from the Shang Dynasty.

"It is a family burial place," he said. "The owners were affluent people, possibly aristocrats."

He noted that the discovery might help archaeologists learn more about Shang Dynasty burial customs and understand cultural development.

The excavation could also be helpful in geological studies since the coffins were buried so deep, Kong added.

The Shang Dynasty capital was once in Shangqiu, Henan and later moved to Anyang, where ruins of the old city were discovered in the early 1900s in one of China's oldest and largest archaeological sites.

Source: Xinhua Net [April 28, 2016]
TANN

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