Ming Dynasty tomb chambers, murals unearthed in north China

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Archaeologists in north China's Shanxi Province have discovered three brick tomb chambers with murals inside dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Undated photo provided by the Shanxi provincial institute of archaeology shows murals in a tomb chamber in Luzhou District of Changzhi City, north China's Shanxi Province.(Xinhua)

The tombs are located in the Luzhou District in the city of Changzhi, according to the Shanxi provincial institute of archaeology. Excavations in the area began last year as part of road construction works.

The structure of the tombs and the excavated artifacts indicate that they may have been family tombs during the early Ming Dynasty.

The roof of one tomb chamber has collapsed, leaving only a few murals inside, and archaeologists removed part of the murals for preservation.

The murals in the other two chambers are well-preserved and have the same style, featuring images of the sun, moon and other elements in Chinese mythology.

Archaeologists have also found a ceremonial building as well as 18 relic items such as copper coins, copper mirrors and ceramics.

Zheng Yuan, deputy director of the Shanxi provincial institute of archaeology, said the discovery of the family tombs has provided important information and materials for the study of funeral rituals during that period in the region, as well as ancient architecture. 

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