Ancient Tombs Unearthed in Downtown Beijing

More than 20 ancient tombs dating from the Han to Qing dynasties (206 BC to 1911 AD) have been excavated at a construction site in downtown Beijing.

The discoveries will contribute greatly to studies of the ancient city's population density, governmental system and social conditions, according to experts. They added that more tombs are expected to be found at the site.

The tombs, most of them about two meters long by one meter wide, indicate they are the graves of common people. Only one the them, which is four meters long by three meters wide, is one of a market administrator in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Archaeologists said the man died at the age of 50, and his father and grandfather had held similar positions.

What discovers the archaeologists is the tomb might have been robbed as the bones were found in disorder.

Some vessels and copper coins were also found in the tombs.

( 08/12/2001)