Archaeologists unearth 14 ancient tombs in central China

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Archaeologists have unearthed 14 tombs dating back to a period spanning from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in central China's Hunan Province.

They belong to a tomb complex in Anren County in the city of Chenzhou, and the excavation work started in September, according to the Hunan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology.

The tombs are of two types: brick chamber tombs and earth pits. Archaeologists found a thin layer of sand in some pits, which is believed to be related to the gender of the tomb owners, said Chen Bin, head of the tomb complex excavation project.

More than 150 burial objects, including pottery, ironware, bronze ware and stone ornaments, were unearthed in the tombs.

Judging from the size of the tombs and the artifacts buried there, Chen said the 14 tombs were probably owned by ordinary civilians. Eleven of them can be traced back to the middle and late periods of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

"The new discoveries can provide important clues for the study of funeral customs, history and culture, and social-economic development of the dynasty in today's Anren County and surrounding areas," said Chen.

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