Rare well-preserved lacquer coffin discovered in Jiangsu

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A rare, well-preserved lacquer coffin dating back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) has been unearthed in east China's Jiangsu Province, local authorities said Thursday.

Changzhou Museum said a tomb group was recently found at a construction site in Tangling Village in the city of Changzhou, where a coffin, looking like a freshly-painted one, was unearthed.

"We speculated that the good condition of the coffin might be attributed to the sticky mud between the chamber and coffin, which could isolate the air. While the high underground water level also helped isolate the air and keep the color of the coffin bright," said Peng Hui, director of the archaeological office of the museum.

However, there was a lot of liquid inside the 700-year-old coffin due to its poor water resistance. To discharge the liquid from the coffin and minimize the impact on things inside the coffin, archaeologists spent around 16 hours discharging 500 liters of liquid from the coffin, Peng said.

So far, five wooden combs and two bamboo fine-toothed combs and bronze cash coins have been found.

Changzhou has a long history of comb manufacturing, tracing back to the Wei-Jin period (220-420).

"Yuan Dynasty tombs were seldom discovered in the southern lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The findings are very important for the study of Changzhou's history," said Huang Jiankang, deputy curator of the museum.

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