Archaeologists find tomb cluster of Xiongnu nomads in north China

HOHHOT, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — Archaeologists have found 120 tombs belonging to Xiongnu people, an alliance of nomadic tribes also known as the Huns, in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The ruins are located in Sonid Right Banner, and the age of this tomb cluster has yet to be determined, according to the regional research institute for cultural relics and archaeology.

Archaeologists have excavated eight of the tombs this year and found items including wooden coffins, human bones, iron knives, pottery pots, lacquerware and sacrificial animals.

In a tomb that was damaged by tomb raiders, experts discovered 83 pieces of iron flowers shaped like persimmon calyx.

“There are traces of silk fabrics on these iron ornaments, indicating that the wooden coffin was once wrapped with silk,” said Song Guodong, an archaeologist with the institute.

The Xiongnu people emerged around the end of the third century B.C. and had a huge impact on Chinese and world history.

The tomb complex is the first of its kind discovered in the grassland north of Yinshan Mountains in China, and can provide an important reference for archaeological research on Xiongnu people, said Song.

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