According to the Chinese Business View, a cluster of over 100 ancient tombs of the Han (206BC- AD 220), Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties has been discovered in a 200-mu (33 acres) land in Xi'an's Chang'an District. However, due to improper excavation of the local cultural relic department, this ancient tomb cluster of high archaeological value is destroyed currently.
The 100 ancient tombs are situated in the Zhixin Cherry Blossom Garden in Guodu Town. Among the 20-odd tombs which have finished excavation, some are over 10 meters deep and some have clear tomb passages. In some tombs, black bricks are scattered about or even broken into pieces. Apparently, some earth walls were dug by excavators before.
It was learned from the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Bureau that the cultural relic department of Chang'an District excavated these ancient tombs in June. Based on initial investigation, 23 ancient tombs in the Han, Sui and Tang dynasties were unearthed. Relevant experts said that such an ancient tomb cluster is highly valuable in terms of archaeological research.
Untombed cultural relics have been collected by the cultural relic department of Chang'an District and no loss of cultural relics has been found upon initial investigation.
On the other hand, investigation conducted by Shaanxi Archaeology Institute revealed that during the course of excavation, the cultural relic department of Chang'an District unearthed the tombs with excavators, damaging stratum and tomb structure of most tombs. This also leads to incomplete information collection and tremendous destruction to the tomb cluster.
At the excavation site, a precious mural painting from a tomb of the Sui Dynasty was basically intact when it was found. Due to improper excavation, however, it was damaged after it was untombed, resulting in a heavy loss.
(Chinanews.cn July 11, 2005)