3,000-year-old tomb complex unearthed in east China

HANGZHOU, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese archaeologists have identified a tomb complex in east China, whose owner might be a king who lived in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC).

The 3,000-year-old tomb complex, in Quzhou City, Zhejiang Province, was not built underground, but within mounds piled up manually, a distinctive tomb style in some southern parts of China.

First discovered in the 1980s, the tomb complex underwent several rounds of excavations. Objects unearthed from here included jade articles, pottery with printed patterns, and bronze ware, including decorations on horse-driven carriages.

Archaeologists said judging from its style and scale, the tomb complex is likely to be royal and might belong to the ruler of an ancient kingdom known as “Gumie,” whose territory was mostly in today’s Zhejiang.

The discovery of horse and carriage ornaments in a mountainous area, where the use of horse carriages was not regular, also reflects the introduction of rituals from the north, and suggests the existence of a high-level regional polity, said Chen Jie, deputy curator with the Shanghai Museum.

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