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Crown of Empress Xiao of Sui Dynasty revealed in northwest China


Chinese archaeologists have restored a 1,400-year-old royal crown, which belonged to the wife of Yang Guang, or Emperor Yang of Sui, the second and last monarch of the short-lived Sui Dynasty (581-618).

Crown of Empress Xiao of Sui Dynasty revealed in northwest China
Crown of Empress Xiao of Sui Dynasty revealed in northwest China
The crown of Empress Xiao has gone through laboratory analysis and relics protection procedures, according to
 the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics Protection and the Yangzhou Municipal Institute 
of Cultural Relics Archaeology. It is the best preserved crown ever discovered in China to date 
[Credit: CNS/Tian Jin]
The crown was unearthed in the tomb of the queen, known as Empress Xiao, in 2012 in Yangzhou, eastern China's Jiangsu Province.

It is the oldest official crown of a queen ever found in China.

Archaeologists dug it out of a rotten wooden box near the queen's coffin and sent it to a relic restoration lab with the Cultural Relic Protection Institute in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Crown of Empress Xiao of Sui Dynasty revealed in northwest China
Crown of Empress Xiao of Sui Dynasty revealed in northwest China
The study of the crown's structure and materials serves to shed light on dressing etiquette during the Sui Dynasty
 (581–618 AD) and Tang Dynasty (618-907). For instance, experts discovered that the cotton used during
 the Sui Dynasty was grown in southern China; this offers a new basis for the study of the cultivation
 and transmission of Chinese cotton. In addition, the crown's gilded bronze tiles reveal the complex
 norm for hair accessories in that era [Credit: CNS/Tian Jin]
Yang Junchang, a professor with Northwest Industrial University, who led the restoration project, said his team carefully cleared fragile copper wires from the crown, inch by inch, to restore 13 flower decorations.

The flowers made of gilded bronze wires are very delicate with clear shapes of stalks, petals and stamen. The decorations are gold colored, and flicker with movement.

The crown was made with a variety of materials, including bronze wire, gold, pearls, cotton and silk.

Shu Jiaping, head of the Yangzhou Institute of Archaeology, said that lab research had helped rediscover the materials and ancient techniques used for making a royal crown.

Source: Xinhua [September 06, 2016]
TANN

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