An intact skeleton of a female has been excavated from an ancient tomb dating back to around 2,200 years ago in central China's Hubei Province.
Archaeologists found the skeleton in the Xiejiaqiao No. 1 tomb excavated in Jingzhou city, Hubei. According to the inscribed bamboo slips buried in the tomb, the owner, a noblewoman with the name of "Hui", was buried in 183 B.C., during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.).
About 200 cultural relics were also recovered in four coffin chambers, such as bronze ware, lacquerwork, wood and bamboo ware, pottery, and bamboo slips wrapped by delicate and precious silk cloth.
"Tombs of the Han Dynasty are found in many places across the country, but it is rare to find such a well-preserved one, which will provide valuable historical data for studies in archaeology, history, zoology, botany and textile science of the time," said Wang Mingqin, head of Jingzhou Museum, at a press conference on Thursday.
Cleaning work on the main coffin will last more than two months. The age of the tomb owner and the cause of her death are yet to be identified as some characters inscribed on the bamboo slips are illegible, according to Wang.
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)