Archaeologists find over 800 ancient tombs in north China

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TIANJIN, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists have found more than 800 tombs that span nearly a millennium in the history of the Chinese nation in north China's Tianjin Municipality, local authorities said Thursday.

The tombs were scattered alongside the Grand Canal, the world's longest man-made waterway and a world heritage site, and experts estimated that the tombs dated between the Song Dynasty (960-1276) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), according to the Tianjin Cultural Heritage Protection Center.

Archaeologists have excavated more than 100 tombs from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties, discovering over 200 burial items including glazed pottery pots, porcelain jars and coins. They have also collected human bone specimens.

Since 2004, the center has cooperated with other organizations to promote the protection and research of human bones of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Tianjin. So far, experts have collected more than 700 human bone specimens from the period and established a specimen bank.

Some of the newly found tombs are stone-chamber tombs, while others are earth pits, and they are different in shape and size, according to Zhao Chen, an expert from the center.

The discovery can provide references for future studies on the value and culture of the Grand Canal in ancient times, said archaeologist Chen Yong.

Archaeologists said they will gradually undertake the excavation of the remaining 700 ancient tombs in the future. Enditem

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