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2000-Year Old Musical Instruments to Be Played Live

China Central Television (CCTV) will telecast live a concert played with a group of ancient musical instruments dating back to more than 2100 years.

The concert will last for three consecutive days starting from February 7, the Festival of Lanterns which marks the end of the half-month Spring Festival periods.

The musical instruments are serial bells, chime stones, drums of various sizes and for different purposes, seven ses, twenty- five-stringed plucked instruments, and others.

They were unearthed last July in a pit around the Luozhuang Mausoleum, the earliest Western Han Dynasty (BC206--24AD) royal mausoleum ever unearthed in China.

Since excavation started in June last year, archaeologists have found numerous valuable funerary objects in Luozhuang Mausoleum, 40 kilometers east of Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong province.

The chime stones found in the mausoleum outnumbered the total pieces in the previous excavations of tombs of the West and East Han dynasties (BC206--220AD), according to archeologists.

For their fine craftwork and good preservation, the serial bells are considered the best from the Western Han Dynasty, Yu Weichao, archeologist and former curator of China Historical Museum, noted.

In the Dynasty, it is rare for all the instruments to be made for actual use, rather than solely for funeral purposes, Yu said, adding that the numerous, well-preserved instruments are enough to equip a court orchestra.

The experts found that the all instruments have been attuned when they were buried and could be played today. CCTV will telecast live the concert played by musicians using the instruments during the three days at noon, with pieces yet to be decided.

Judging from the earth seal already found, archaeologists believed that the mausoleum dates back to BC186.

Though the coffin chamber has not yet been opened, archaeologists inferred from the plentiful relics in the pits that the owner of this mausoleum could be of such a royal standing as a king.

(Xinhua 02/05/2001)

In This Series

Concert Held to Promote Peace and Friendship

China to Hold Archaeological Exhibition in Mexico

Han Dynasty Ruins Unearthed in Xuzhou

Ancient City Wall Unearthed in Hebei

Largest Ancient Ruins Discovered in Xi'an

The Earliest Western Han Mausoleum Unearthed



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