Chinese archaeologists find 2,800-year old burial of chariots and horses

“Chinese archaeologists find 2,800-year old burial of chariots and horses”

by Ruth Schuster via “Reuters

 Grave of chariots, 770 BC-476 BC, Zaoyang (Reuters)

Archaeologists excavating ancient tombs in central China have unearthed 28 chariots and 49 pairs of horse skeletons dating back three millennia.

The 2,800-year-old group of tombs, which dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) is located in the city of Zaoyang, in the province of Hubei. Current explorations have found at least 30 tombs of various sizes.

Preliminary studies show that the tombs belong to high-ranking nobles of the period in Chinese history.

Now a new 33-meter long, four-meter wide chariot pit has been discovered. “This chariot and horse pit is different from those discovered previously along the Yangtze River. The chariots and horses were densely buried,” said Liu Xu, professor from School ofArchaeology and Museology of Peking University. ” Many of the wheels were taken off and the rest parts of the chariots were placed one by one.”

At least 28 chariots were discovered in three months of excavation. About five meters away the chariot pit was a horse pit, where at least 49 pairs of horse skeletons were discovered.

“Judging from the way the horses were buried, they were buried after they were killed, as there was no trace of struggle. Second, it is the way they were laid. They were laid back to back, lying on their sides. It means that two horses pull one chariot,” said Huang Wenxin, researcher from the provincial archaeological institute. . . .

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