165 ancient tombs found in east China

Archaeologists have a of 165 millennia-old tombs at a single relic site in east China’ Shandong Province.

The tombs, unearthed in the city of Heze, include 156 that date back the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) and nine from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-221 B.C.), according Shandong’ institute of cultural relics and archaeology.

All of the tombs belong the 1.3-hectare Sundayuan Site, the recent excavation of which also revealed five pits from the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.) and 27 from the Neolithic Longshan Culture, said Sun Qirui, an archaeologist with the institute.

Sun said that among the Han Dynasty tombs were earthen tombs with brick coffins and pottery figurines, and brick tombs complete with structures.

While few items were in the Shang Dynasty pits, the Longshan Culture pits boast abundant artifacts, including pottery pieces carrying patterns, he said.

The long time span of the Sundayuan site offered precious insight into cultural evolution and in the area, researchers have said. (Xinhua/)