3,000-year-old clan cemetery discovered in central China


ZHENGZHOU (Xinhua): A group of large-scale tombs dating to the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) were recently discovered in Shaojiapeng village, Anyang city, ZHENGZHOU of Henan (central China), according to the city’s institute of cultural relics and archeology.

Located 2.4 km from the ancestral palace and temple of the Yin Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Shaojiapeng site is considered a major place of life for a clan called “Ce” during the Shang Dynasty.

The Chinese character “Ce” was found on the inscription of the bronze dishes discovered in the relics of the cemetery, which indicates the identity of the clan.

A total of 18 building foundations, 24 tombs, four pits for horses and chariots, as well as relics including superb bronze, jade and stone objects, bone objects and molds, were discovered during the two years of excavation of the site.

Six cars and several warriors and horses buried with the dead were discovered in the pits, with luxurious decorations on the relics. Some warriors were found wearing hats with shell strings and some horses’ foreheads were decorated with gold plating and bronze backing.

“It is very rare among the ancient finds of Anyang, which reflects the extraordinary status and power of the car owner,” said Kong Deming, director of the institute.

Researchers are still working to unravel the site’s final mysteries, including the clan’s social status, their division of labor and their relationship to the Shang royal family.

The relics at the site are diverse and relatively well preserved, making them of great importance for studies of the extent and layout of the Yin ruins, according to Kong.


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