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Ancient General's Tomb Uncovered in North China

Archeologists in the northern China province of Shanxi have located the tomb of a general who lived more than 400 years ago.

A group of construction workers recently unearthed a stone tablet in a downtown area of Jincheng City, where they were building a cold store for a local wholesaler of fruits. They reported the finding to the local cultural heritage department, with the intuition it could be valuable.

The tablet was believed by experts to be a gravestone, and its inscription suggested it belonged to Shen Qigong, a general of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who died sometime during the reign of Emperor Wan Li, between 1573 and 1620.

The general was 69 years old when he died, his epitaph said.

The local public security authority has closed off the site to protect it from intruders while archeologists have opened the tomb with hopes to excavate the cultural heritage in it.

A cultural heritage official said two more ancient tombs had been found next to this one, but did not give any detail.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2004)

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