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Huge Archaeological Discovery at Zhougong Temple

The excavation work of the highest-grade No. 32 Western Zhou Dynasty giant tomb at the Zhougong Temple in Shaanxi Province has basically been completed. Yesterday, the leader of the archaeology team said that the excavation of the No. 32 tomb raised many new important questions and provided many new clues to the archeological research effort on Western Zhou Dynasty.

Jointly organized by the Shaanxi Archaeology Institute and the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University, the excavation team began a large-scale archaeological survey and a drilling exploration on the Zhougong Temple site last March. They discovered a highest-grade cluster of ten grand tombs with four passageways, four tombs with three passageways, four tombs with two passageways and four tombs with a single passageway. Archaeologists also found over 700 pieces of tortoise shells with signs, over 1,500 meters long of soil-rammed walls and many foundations for large-scale soil-rammed constructions. Some archaeologists called the No. 32 tomb "the most significant archaeological finding of New China".

The team started excavating the No. 18 and No. 32 tombs on October 17, 2004. After more than two months of intense work, the No. 32 tomb project was basically completed on the evening of January 8.

Judging from its pattern and scale, the No. 32 giant tomb was of a monarch or a monarch equivalent. The cultural relics that were unearthed provide important information on the history of the Western Zhou Dynasty.

(Chinanews.cn January 13, 2005)

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