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Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi


A bronze chariot, dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), has been restored by cultural-relics protection workers in a project lasting three years, according to the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
The bronze chariot, dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), has been restored by cultural-relics protection
workers in a project lasting three years, according to the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology
[Credit: Xinhua/Li Yibo]



The chariot, unearthed in 2014 at the Zhouyuan site in northwestern Shaanxi, is 3.13 metres long, 2.7 metres wide, and 1.5 metres high. When it was discovered, it had been crushed into thousands of fragments. The skeletal remains of four horses were also unearthed with it.

Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
The chariot was unearthed in 2014 at the Zhouyuan site in northwestern Shaanxi. When it was discovered,
it had been crushed into thousands of fragments [Credit: Xinhua/Li Yibo]



The chariot is equipped with about 400 bronze fittings, most of which are inlaid with turquoise. The outer edges of the wheels are also made of bronze.

Based on the minimal signs of abrasion on the wheels, the chariot was rarely used, and was a ceremonial vehicle for high-level nobles, according to Wang Zhankui, a researcher with the institute.

Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Ancient bronze chariot restored in China's Shaanxi
Three-dimensional diagram of the Western Zhou Dynasty bronze wheel-tooth carriage
[Credit: Xi'an News Network News]
"The restoration of the chariot is valuable for research on etiquette in the late Western Zhou Dynasty," Wang said.

The Zhouyuan site, where ruins of the dynasty are located, is believed to be the dwelling place of Duke Danfu, an early leader of the Zhou clan. It is known as the cradle of the Western Zhou Dynasty, one of the earliest periods in China's written history.

Source: Xinhua News Agency [July 30, 2020]

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