Archaeologists have unearthed four colored figures in a tomb in
northwest China's Shaanxi Province dating back to the Zhou
Dynasty (1046 BC-221 BC).
The wooden tomb figures, about 80 centimeters tall, are believed
to be at least 500 years older than that of the terra cotta
warriors and horses of Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), said Yin
Shenping, a researcher with the provincial archeological
They were standing at the four corners of the tomb numbered
"M502" in Liangdai village, Hancheng City, Yin said.
The wood has rotted and become clay, and experts are now
considering recasting them with plaster and reagent.
Tomb figures, usually in the shape of human beings, were made of
wood, earth, terra cotta, or stone and buried with the dead in
ancient times. Before they were created, people were buried alive
with the dead as sacrifices.
The research and excavation work started in April 2005 on the
tombs in Liangdai village. Experts from the Shaanxi
Archeological Institute have unearthed many precious cultural
relics, including gold, copper, jade and iron prior to the tomb
Hancheng City, where the ancient tombs are located, is close to
the Yellow River and famous for its long history and culture.
(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2007)