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Mawangdui Han Tombs



Mawangdui Han Tombs

Located in the eastern suburb of Changsha, the famous

Mawangdui Han Tombs

is one of the most exciting spots in Hunan Province. Actually the Mawangdui Han Tombs is the best place to know about the glorious Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 24). All three tombs were excavated between 1972 and 1974. According to the archeological research that this place was a family graveyard two thousand years ago; No. 1 and No. 3 tombs are in excellent condition, and the No. 1 tomb is the largest among the three.


Over 3,000 relics have been unearthed from the tombs like

silk products, silk books, silk paintings, lacquer works, potteries, bamboo slips

  used for writing, weapons, herbs and so on. Of which the lacquer works occupy the largest number, including ancient cooking vessels, boxes, kettles, plates and folding screens. Red or black colors were painted on them. Most of the potteries contain food. One of the most outstanding representatives is a silk coat which is as light as the mist and as fine as gossamer. It is 1.28 m in length with a pair of long sleeves, but weighs only 49 grams! The coffin excavated from No. 1 tomb is decorated with the odd images of animals and gods on its lacquered surface and has high artistic value.

Mawangdui Han TombThe drawing technique of a map excavated from the second tomb was very advanced; place markings are very similar to a modern map. It was praised as "a striking discovery" by people when it exhibited in America, Japan, Poland and other countries. Silk books are the rare historical artifacts. The content deals with ancient philosophy, history, science, technology, medicine etc.

The excavation of

No. 1 tomb at Mawangdui

is not only considered as a wonder in Chinese archeology, but also having a profound effect world archeological history. The reason is that the corpse of this tomb's owner----a noble lady and other articles buried with the dead were extremely well-preserved for more than 2,000 years especially the corpse.




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