The complete excavation of the tomb of the Marquis of Haihun of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) has been accomplished, with a large number of precious relics discovered, according to a joint press conference held by the Jiangxi provincial publicity department, the provincial cultural department and the provincial cultural relics bureau on Oct. 9.
Gold coins from the tomb.
The excavation site.
Since the main coffin in the tomb was taken to a lab in January, archaeologists have examined the remains of the Marquis of Haihun lying on a colored mat in the coffin. A jade seal beside the remains displays the characters for Liu He, the given name of the marquis, which helped to confirm his identity. One hundred gold coins were found beneath the mat. Other relics discovered in the coffin include a jade pillow, a number of jade discs of various sizes, a jade sword and a total of 478 gold wares – the largest single batch of gold items ever found in a Han Dynasty tomb.
A three-legged bronze pot unearthed from the tomb. (Xinhua photo)
Archeologists also found 5,000 slips of bamboo writing paper. Through infrared scanning, the faded characters on the slips were rendered clear enough to read. Further scanning and evaluation of the slips will begin soon.
The Marquis of Haihun was the grandson of Emperor Wu, the greatest ruler of the Han Dynasty, during one of the most prosperous periods in China's history. His cemetery was discovered in 2011 in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. It covers roughly 40,000 square meters and contains eight tombs as well as a chariot burial site.