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HomeNewsNew discoveries
A Mural Tomb of the Eastern Han Dynasty Found in Uxin Banner, Inner Mongolia
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2016-10-21
In September of 2015, Ordos Museum in conjunction with Ordos Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology conducted a second clear-up to the mural tomb (M1) of Han dynasty, found in Barisong ancient oboo, meanwhile, cleared up another mural tomb of Han dynasty at the northwest of M1, which was numbered as M2.

The cemetery was a large-scaled tomb group, about 300 tombs were left. The tombs were dug directly on the top of grey sandstone formation, the tomb tunnels were mostly exposed on the ground, and few of them were covered by grave mound.


Riding image depicted on the mural 

M2 was located about 110 meters’ northwest of M1, and was 1349 meters in height. M2 was a catacomb with long and slope tomb tunnel, with front and back chambers, and it was a secondary joint burial. The plane of M2 was in “凸” shape, 18.3 meters’ long, with straight walls. The opening was 14 meters in length, 1.1 meters in width and 3.2 meters in depth. The arch tomb gate was slightly sharp on the top, 1.1 meters’ high and 0.95 meters’ wide; the distance between the top of the gate and the ground was 2.08 meters. Inside the gate, a painted imitating wooden frame was found. The plane of the front chamber was rectangle, the depth, width and height was 1.7 meters, 2.65 meters, 1.4 meters respectively; A second-tier platform were found at both sides, and there was a niche at the top of the right wall, which was 1.59 meters’ long, 0.30 meters’ high and 0.23 meters’ deep. The tomb was covered by a flush-gable-roof, not symmetrical, the length of the left and right roof were 1.74 meters and 0.96 meters respectively; and the tomb floor was flat. The plane of the back chamber was rectangular, 2.26 meters in length, 1.7 meters in width and 1 meter in height. The tomb floor was higher than that of the front chamber. The wooden coffin was decayed, only two skulls were left. One piece of pottery jar fragment (the bottom part) and one copper Fang (wine vessel; the mouth part) were unearthed in the filled earth inside the chamber.  


The carriages and horses on a Journey image depicted on the mural 

Several pieces of paintings were found on the walls, the niche and the top of the tomb M2, with an area of about 30 square meters, more than 10 pictures. The composition skills might include the following steps: firstly, paint a layer of white sticky mineral on the surface of the flat sandstone, used as a basecoat; secondly, press and smooth the layer; lastly, paint on it. The pigments consisted of azurite, malachite green, ochre, sienna, cinnabar and other mineral pigments. The mural not only depicted the real life of the tomb owner, for example, outgoing, banqueting, grazing, farming and etc; but also demonstrated the spiritual world after death, such as the images of flying dragon, phoenix with hundred birds, scrolled grass and etc.  (Translator: Wang Jue)


 
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