Archaeologists In China Discovered A Cemetery Containing 174 Tombs Dating Back To The Fifth Century B.C., As Well As Over 500 Cultural Artifacts

gui yong nian - - illustrative purposes only

In China, a cemetery containing dozens of tombs and cultural artifacts was discovered by archaeologists from the Xiangyang Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology last summer.

The Baizhuang Cemetery is located in Xiangyang, a city in the northwestern Hubei province. It was uncovered amidst excavations for an infrastructure project. Archaeologists identified a total of 176 tombs after they cleaned up the site.

All of them, except for two, were pit tombs from China’s Warring States period, beginning in the 5th century B.C. and ending in 221 B.C. The other two date back to the Han dynasty, which lasted from 206 B.C. to A.D. 220.

During the Warring States period, many small Chinese kingdoms fought for power and territories. Eventually, two states, Qin and Chu, remained standing. In the end, Qin emerged victorious and established the first unified Chinese empire.

“Discoveries of Warring States sites provide incredible insight into a period that is both seminal but poorly understood,” Justin Winslett, a lecturer in Chinese studies at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek. He was not involved in the recent excavations of the cemetery.

“The Warring States [era] represents part of a ‘classical period’ within Chinese and larger East Asian history from whence many of the cornerstones, such as philosophy, myth, and text, that are today thought of as part of East Asian ‘civilization’ are meant to have emerged.”

Previously, experts knew very little about what life was like for people during the Warring States period, but in the past 50 years, new discoveries of tombs, workshops, and small villages have helped provide more information.

These findings are due to the “increased rate of building works,” which has led to numerous archaeological sites being uncovered during excavations.

Among the tombs dating back to the Warring States period, archaeologists found nine medium-sized sloped passageways. The largest of them were more than 30 feet long and 16 feet wide. The tombs from the Han dynasty did not feature passages.

gui yong nian – – illustrative purposes only

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