2500-year old tomb found in E China

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Inscriptions on a bronze artifact unearthed in the ancient tomb found in east China's Shandong Province.

"We need to do more research to determine whether the owner of the tomb was a man or a woman," Hao said. "It could be a warlord or his concubine. The person was a dignitary, that much is certain."

He said experts with the State Heritage Bureau have been summoned to help solve the mystery, adding that the excavation team has thus far relied on inscriptions on bronze pots to derive the identity of the missing owner.

The tomb is situated at the top of a steep hill, an unusual burial site in comparison to the mountains where ancient aristocrats were usually buried. However, its unique location has also helped it avoid the reach of tomb raiders over the years, the archaeologists said.

Authorities on Monday ordered the site to be sealed off for protection.

"In many aspects, this tomb is quite different. Unveiling these mysteries will help us understand more about the lives of ancient warlords," said Sun Shiqin, deputy chief of the Shandong provincial cultural relics bureau.

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