Archaeological Discoveries
in 2001
Archaeological Discoveries
in 2000
Top Ten Archaeological Finds
for 1999
Archaeological Discoveries
in 1999

The Mysterious Han Tomb at Laoshan Hill

  This tomb is the third most significant discovery of its kind in the history of archaeology in Beijing following the discoveries of the Ming Tombs, the underground palace of the Dingling tomb, and the Han tomb at Dabaotai.
   The ancient tomb is located in the Laoshan Hill area, 10 km west of downtown Beijing. The gate of the tomb is 24.5 to 26 meters long from south to north and 22 to 23.5 meters wide from east to west. The passage of the tomb is 24 meters long. So far, the "Huangchang Ticou", a rectangular iron tool, and the remains of two other passages used during the construction of the tomb have been found there. "Huangchang Ticou" is a special arrangement in a royal tomb for chaining cypress timbers so that they face in a particular direction. It demonstrates the level of metallurgy during the Han Dynasty, and its use symbolizes the special status of the tomb occupant. For this reason, cultural relic specialists assert that it was a Han royal tomb.
   The Laoshan Han tomb is the most important archaeological discovery in the past 30 years in the Beijing area. Excavations are still under way.