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Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin


A team of experts are finalising the examination of a valuable coffin found inside a 2,000-year-old tomb of an ancient Chinese emperor.

Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin
Archaeologists clean up the interior coffin of the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou, the Marquis of Haihun, 
in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province [Credit: Xinhua]
The coffin is believed to have belonged to Liu He, also known as Marquis of Haihun, an ill-fated monarch from West Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD) who ruled just 27 days before being overthrown by his ambitious general.

Archaeologists say findings from the coffin could help demystify the dethroned ruler, who had been described by some as a 'useless emperor who drank and had fun all day long'.

Expert also said that results of the digging would help clarify the relationship between Liu and other remains found in the burial chambers, according to Huanqiu, an affiliation to People's Daily.

Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin
Archaeologists clean up the interior coffin of the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou, the Marquis of Haihun,
in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province [Credit: Xinhua]
Cleaning up of the coffin, which takes place inside a laboratory in Nanchang city, is at its last stage.

The team have obtained the royal seal and some of the jade ornaments and will clean up Liu He's teeth, the accessories on his remains and a mat made of crystal glass, said the same report.

A large number of teeth have been found from Liu He's remains, which the researchers have used for a DNA test.

Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin
Matting unearthed from the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou, the Marquis of Haihun, 
in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province [Credit: Xinhua]
Researchers hope the DNA test could explain the cause of Liu He's death.

By comparing Liu's DNA results with those of the other remains, researchers also hope to clarify more details of the tomb. For example, whether the number five tomb belonged to Liu's mistress or his son.

The cemetery, which contains eight tombs and a chariot burial site, was first discovered in 2011 at the village of Da Tangping around 30 miles north of Nanchang.

Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin
A lacquer box unearthed from the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou, the Marquis of Haihun, 
in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province [Credit: Xinhua]
It has been regarded as the best-preserved royal tomb from the West Han Dynasty.

The site has been studied for five years and has produced over 10,000 pieces of cultural relics, including Wuzhu bronze coins, jade and thousands of other gold, bronze and iron items.

The coffin was hoisted out in January, 2016, and has been undergoing examination.

Archaeologists were able to identify the owner the coffin and the tomb by a seal found inside the coffin, which says the name 'Liu He'.

Chinese experts examine Haihunhou's coffin
Animal-shaped decorations on a lacquer box unearthed from the 2,000-year-old tomb of Haihunhou,
 the Marquis of Haihun, in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province [Credit: Xinhua]
Other items found at the site include gold coins, hoof-shaped ingots, jade pendants, a distiller, horse-drawn vehicles, a board game and 2,000-year-old bronze lamps.

The goose-shaped lamps, which would have been filled with water, were designed to dispose of the smoke inside the tomb.

Since 2011, more than 10,000 pieces have been discovered at the tombs and 110 of these have gone on display at Jiangxi Provincial Museum in Nanchang.

Author: Tracy You | Source: Daily Mail [May 07, 2016]
TANN

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