Boat-Shape Coffins Unearthed in Chengdu

Chinese archeologists have unearthed nine 2,500-year-old tombs in the shape of boats in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The tombs are located in a pit which is 30 meters long, 21 meters wide and 2.2 meters deep. The largest one has a length of 18.75 meters, believed to be the longest ever found in China.

"This was a graveyard of an imperial family in ancient Shu Kingdom in early or mid-stage of the Warring States period (BC475-BC221). The pit should have 30 coffins if grave robbers didn't damage it," said Wang Yi, head of the archeological team.

Also unearthed from the pit were hundreds of objects including pottery, bronze spear and dagger-axe, lacquerware and bamboo.

This is a major archeological discovery in Sichuan. The excavation provides important material for the study of the historical, cultural and burial system in the Shu Kingdom, said Yu Weichao, vice-president of the Archaeological Society of China.

(People’s Daily 01/16/2001)

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