Solving the mysteries of what the earth reveals

By Yang Feiyue and Sun Ruisheng | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-13 06:34
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Archaeologists take photos of the relics in the M113 tomb that was found in the center of the cluster and produced a total of 51 ancient artifacts. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Any items that turned up in the cleaning process would be sorted, bagged and recorded before being brought back to the archaeological research institute for subsequent studies and restoration.

As the excavation continued, the appearance of pottery figures from the M113 gave the archaeological team a huge surprise at the beginning of May 2013.

"Never before had it been found that a burial form similar to that of a smaller partial chamber pit tomb would have such a large number of pottery figures with such a rich content," Gu says.

"So it was indeed very exciting when we found those rich figures were undisturbed during the cleanup to the bottom of the tomb."

Through archaeological studies, the tomb complex was found to be dominated by civilian tombs, and only the M113 produced items that are similar to what was found elsewhere in spacious brick-chambered tombs of owners with higher social status, such as that of Sima Jinlong, a member of the nobility of the Northern Wei Dynasty.

"It indicates that the upper and middle classes were not excluded from using small tombs during the Northern Wei Pingcheng period," Gu says.

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