Horses, chariots found in 3000-year-old burial

Archaeologists excavating in Luoyang, the capital of Henan Province, China, have uncovered an intact tomb including the remains of five wooden chariots and 12 horses. The remains have not been carbon dated yet, but bronze and ceramic grave goods buried with the horses and chariots date to the early Zhou dynasty (1045-256 B.C.).

Although no coffin nor human remains were found, the quality of the grave goods, inscriptions on the pottery and on the bronze weapons indicate that the person buried in the tomb was someone of middle-ranking social and political standing. The horses’ gear and chariots had elaborate fittings, some of them gilded as well.

The horses were in all likelihood killed before burial. They were positioned carefully on their sides in the vertical earthenware tomb. Had they been buried arrive (and live burials of slaves and stock were not uncommon in Zhou China, or in its predecessor the Shang Dynasty), they would have been standing and the bones not so tidily arranged.

The tomb was discovered during construction work for a new hospital in the east of Luoyang City. Right now the chariots and remains are in situ being kept constantly moist courtesy of a guy with a hose. There are some pictures of the bronzeware and ceramics found in the tomb here, and more of the guy with a hose here.

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11 Comments »

Comment by J.J.
2011-09-02 22:18:17

I wonder what will happen to the contents of the burial?

Comment by livius drusus
2011-09-05 13:37:59

I imagine they’ll be removed for conservation. There’s no way they’ll stop building that hospital, so at some point they’ll have to remove the archaeological remains.

 
 
Comment by Grrrr
2011-09-02 23:23:51

Awesome! Love this kind of stuff. :cool:

Comment by livius drusus
2011-09-05 13:39:12

Me too. I’m hoping we get to see the chariots again once they’ve been completely cleaned. They look remarkably intact.

 
 
Comment by azie
2011-09-03 09:26:32

i copy this article on my blog…hope u don’t mind…tq

Comment by livius drusus
2011-09-05 13:40:15

As long as you credit me, it’s fine.

 
 
Comment by Anonymous
2011-09-03 17:05:34

die die you horse hater! :ohnoes:

Comment by livius drusus
2011-09-05 13:40:27

:lol:

 
 
Comment by Grrrr
2011-09-03 21:02:59

Whoever hated those horses… is long dead. WISH FULFILLED! :skull:

 
Comment by Equine Abby
2011-09-06 15:58:26

I hope you can see these again when they are fully restored.

 
Comment by Anonymous
2013-12-30 07:56:16

:skull:

 
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;) :yes: :thanks: :skull: :shifty: :p :ohnoes: :notworthy: :no: :love: :lol: :hattip: :giggle: :facepalm: :evil: :eek: :cry: :cool: :confused: :chicken: :boogie: :blush: :blankstare: :angry: :D :) :(

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