Beijing (Chine): 2,200-year-old Han Dynasty tomb discovered
Source - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3493445/2-200-year-old-Han-Dynasty-tomb-discovered-Beijing-building-site-s-not-single-piece-treasure-sight.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
The Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history with advances in science and medicine as well as the flourishing of poetry, literature and beautiful artwork.
Now, a tomb dating from the time of the grand dynasty has been discovered on a building site in a suburb of Beijing.
As well as its humble location in modern times, the burial is disappointingly devoid of treasures.
A tomb (pictured) dating from the Han Dynasty, which ruled between 206 BC to 220 AD has been found during building work on a site in a subrub of Beijing, China
That may not come as a surprise as the tomb dates from between 206 BC to 220 AD.
Archaeologists suspect the tomb was robbed and security measures have been bolstered as the excavation carries on.
It is not thought the tomb belonged to a member of the Han Dynasty royal family.
This is because they were typically buried near the capital of Chang’an (modern Xi'an), which lay at the beginning of the important Silk Road trade route, or near the Han family's home town of Xuhou.
However, excavations at the site are continuing.
A handful of Han burials, such as those of the Kings of Chu, yielded gold and jades, including an incredible jade suits and stone-inlaid coffins.
Jade was believed to protect the body from decay and demons.
Tombs were typically filled with provisions for the afterlife, such as jewellery, furniture, weapons and sometimes even cooks and servants who were sacrificed to serve their master for eternity.
Another two-storey tomb contained a small army of terracotta warriors and distinctive jades.
Most of the royal tombs containing a number of tombs were cut horizontally into the hillside - another suggestion this one did not hold a king.
Other types of Han tombs featured archways, vaulted cambers and domed roofs, with underground vaults held in place by earthen pits.
It is not clear from the photos released whether the newly discovered tomb is one of this type.
The 'new' tomb was found beneath the construction site of Beijing's second administrative centre in suburban Tongzhou.
Beijing is building a subsidiary centre in the suburb in a bid to cure ‘urban ills’ including overpopulation, traffic congestion and smog.
It is expected to relocate about 400,000 residents from the city centre to the suburban district.
Royal Han Dynasty tombs were typically filled with provisions for the afterlife, such as jewellery, furniture, weapons and sometimes even cooks and servants who were sacrificed to serve their master for eternity. A painting of a Royal entourage from the first emperor of the Han Dynasty is shown above
THE 'GOLDEN' HAN DYNASTY
The Han Dynasty began in 206 BC and ended in 220 AD, making it one of China's most enduring dynasties.
The Han Dynasty rivalled its almost contemporary Roman Empire in the West in terms of power.
It was considered a golden age of arts, politics and technology.
For example, pulleys and wheelbarrows were made to move goods, bellows used to aid furnaces and water-powered hammers to smash grain.
Notably, a eunuch called Cai Lun, is credited with inventing paper in 105 AD, by raising a screen of rice straw and tree bark that was pressed and dried to form a sheet.
However, it was mostly used to wrap goods, with written documents inscribed on wooden tablets and bamboo.