Weekly snapshot of China's archaeological news

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BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The following are highlights of China's archaeological news from the past week:

-- 383-year-old tombstone

A 383-year-old tombstone has been found in Gongzhuang Village, Heyang Township in north China's Hebei Province.

Measuring 80 cm both in length and width, and 20 cm in thickness, a 1,217-character inscription on the tombstone depicted the history of a family surnamed Zhu, including its relocation and family inheritance.

Lan Jianhui, a local historian, said the discovery of the tombstone is of great value to study the history, politics and culture in central and southern Hebei in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

-- Ancient tomb

A tomb dating back 830 years to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) has been found on the site of a natural gas pipeline project in Liulin Village, Xingtai County of Hebei Province.

The round-shaped tomb is 1.9 meters tall, 1.9 meters wide and 1.7 meters long with tile frescoes on the vault.

Archaeologists were able to tell the age of the tomb from the inscribed dateline and believe that it belonged to a local landlord.

"The tomb will provide valuable materials for research on the local funeral, burial and social customs at that time," said Hua Penghui, head of the institute.

-- Replica of ancient Greek mechanism

A replica of an ancient Greek mechanism used to calculate the positions of heavenly bodies such as the sun and the moon is on display at the Museum of the University of Science and Technology of China.

The exhibition displays a replica of the largest piece of the mechanism, a replica of the device and related information on astronomy.

The Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1900 in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Dating back to around 100-150 BC, the mechanism is made of bronze and consists of multiple gears and dials, said Guan Yuzhen, deputy curator of the museum in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.

The Antikythera Mechanism exhibition toured in a dozen places, mostly in European countries, before it came to China. The exhibition will last until the end of December.

-- 1,700-year-old tomb

A tomb dating back more than 1,700 years was uncovered in the city of Zixing, central China's Hunan Province.

The brick-chambered tomb is 7.36 meters long. It consists of a passage, a front chamber and a rear chamber. More than 20 pieces of relics including celadon jars and ancient coins have been unearthed in the tomb.

Based on a clear chronology carved on the brick, experts believe the tomb was built in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316).

"As the ancient tomb is well-preserved, the unearthed relics are of high historical value for the study of the customs at that time," said Chen Gang, an expert in archaeology. Enditem

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