Xiangyang (Chine): Precious bricks found in ancient tombs
Xiangyang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology recently found out 27 brick-chambered tombs of Six Dynasties (222-589), Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty (618-907) in Xiangcheng District of Xiangyang, central China's Hubei province.
Over 70 pieces of cultural relics have been unearthed, including bronze wares, silver wares, pottery, porcelain, jade articles, as well as over 10,000 precious dated bricks and portrait bricks. Among the tombs, an Eastern Jin (317-420) tomb and a Southern Dynasties (420-589) tomb have the highest archaeological significance.
The brick coffin chamber of the Eastern Jin tomb is 2.2 meters long, 0.66 meters wide and 0.55 meters high. "Taiyuan year 21, Han's tomb" is engraved on one side of the tomb brick. "Taiyuan year 21" is the year 396 AD. Bronze mirrors, porcelains, potteries and other cultural relics have been unearthed from the tomb.
The brick coffin chamber of the Southern Dynasties tomb is 7 meters long, 3 meters wide and 3 meters high. The fine bricks were made of clay. Ornamental patterns were engraved on every brick, portraying animals, plants, portraits and religious stories.
According to the archaeologists, Xiangyang has been a regional central city since the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). Many Southern Dynasties tombs with portrait bricks had been unearthed there.