2,000-year-old bronze ware items unearthed in China

2,000-year-old bronze ware items unearthed in China

Chinese archaeologists have unearthed 2,000-year-old bronze ware items from an area the size of two soccer fields in southwest China's Sichuan province while excavating a tomb cluster.

Wang Tianyou, head of the archaeological team from the Chengdu Cultural Relic Research Institute, said they have excavated 180 tombs in Chengdu dating from between the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).

Five hundred-forty bronze ware items were unearthed, ranging from weapons, utensils and tools to ritual statues, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

The largest number of items were found in a tomb holding a boat-shaped coffin, which was carved out of a tree trunk and sealed with mud.

The bronze ware is elaborately engraved with designs such as cicadas, tigers, dragons, hand prints and symbolic patterns of the Kingdom of Shu, which was an ancient civilisation in Sichuan, and the Kingdom of Chu, a civilisation in present-day Hubei and Hunan provinces.

The smallest bronze pieces were a set of knife sharpeners, each 4 centimeters long.

Liu Yumao, a research fellow with the institute, said the findings are important evidence to help understand the culture of the Kingdom of Shu and its interaction with other kingdoms. 

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