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Ancient tombs and hundreds of objects dating back to ‘golden age’ in Chinese history unearthed at Silk Road origin

Ancient tombs and hundreds of objects dating back to ‘golden age’ in Chinese history unearthed at Silk Road origin
Archaeologists working at the starting point of the Silk Road in northwest China’s Shaanxi province have unearthed a group of ancient tombs dating back around 2,000 years to the early days of the Han dynasty.

A total of 27 ancient tombs were excavated in the provincial capital Xi’an and a hoard of objects, including ceramic figurines and thousands of pieces of jade clothing were found. Four of the tombs are large in scale and experts say they are the final resting places of important people of the day.

More than 2,200 pieces of jade clothing were unearthed in the grandest of the tombs and their restoration will provide an important reference for the study of the jade clothes system during the reign of the dynasty. The excavation of the tombs is also set to yield valuable insights into the burial customs of the time.


The Han dynasty ran from 202 BC to 220 AD and is considered a golden age in Chinese history. The Silk Road trade route was established during this time and its starting point in Xi’an contributed to the city being one of China’s Four Great Ancient Capitals. 

The ceramic figurines unearthed in the discovery announced on Monday are of particular interest to archaeologists. Xi'an is also the home of the famous Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The extraordinary sculptures date back to just a few years before the establishment of the Han dynasty.

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