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

Largest Family Joint Burial Tomb Found
in NW China

  A tomb in an ancient cemetery in northwest China, in which 14 mummies were unearthed, were recently conferred by the Shanghai Office of Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest family joint burial tomb of mummies.

  The tomb dating back to 1,400 to 3,000 years ago was found in Qiemo (Qarqan) County, in the southeast of the Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where there was one of the 36 small kingdoms about 2,000 years ago.

  The bodies of mummies including male, female and children were flexed, lying on their back in the five meter-long, 2.7 meter-wide and 3.4 meter-deep tomb.

  Pottery, stone, wood, bronze and iron articles, along with exquisite cotton and wool fabric were excavated together with the mummies.

  Archaeologists say the custom of family joint burial was quite popular in the region at that time. When the ancients of Qiemo were buried, their eyes were covered with stone chips, face being masked by cloth, mouth being sealed by gold foil and flour paste, and nose being plugged with wool.

  Archaeologists also found that the ancients of Qiemo liked wearing wigs, hats and necklaces.

  (People's Daily 03/27/2001)