Tombs of Ancient Eunuchs Discovered in Beijing

Three tombs of court eunuchs of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) have been discovered by archaeologists at Beijing Industry and Commerce University recently, Wednesday's Beijing Daily reports.

According to the tomb epitaph, the three brick-built tombs belonged to Zhao Fen, and two other eunuchs surnamed Dong and Hua.

Archaeologists unearthed a bronze Lei, a kind of drinking vessel, some funeral objects like porcelain pots, two purple clay kettles, four purple clay cups and more than 1,000 coins from Zhao Fen's tomb. A jade belt carved with designs of a peach, which symbolizes longevity, and clouds was also excavated from the tomb.

From Dong's tomb, archaeologists unearthed two stone tomb figures, each one meter tall and standing on a square stone pedestal. A jade belt was also found.

In Hua's tomb, the largest of the three, archaeologists found a jade belt consisting of 13 pieces of jade carved with the designs of dragons and clouds.

Experts with the Beijing Municipal Relics Research Institute said bronze ware, made in the Shang Dynasty (16th century BC-11th century BC), and stone tomb figures, unearthed from these tombs, were first discovered in Ming tombs in the Beijing area.

The discovery of the three tombs provided material evidence of funeral customs during the Ming Dynasty, they said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2002)

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Archaeological Discoveries

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