From June to September, 2016, Wuhan Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology conducted an archaeological exploration and excavation to the cemetery in Xinglong village, Zaoyang city, Hubei province; found out 10 small and medium-sized tombs, including 4 earthen shaft pit tombs and 6 brick-chambered tombs.
The brick-chambered tombs were concentrated distribution, most of which were single-chambered tombs, heading in the east-west direction. The plane of the tomb was in the shape of rectangle and polygon. 4 rectangular brick-chambered tombs had no paving bricks on the bottom, but had staggered joints paved on all walls, with head-niche and niche, not complete on the top. Unearthed objects included grey pottery jar, glazed pottery bowl, brick-made land certificate, copper coins and etc; as well as few silver ear pendants and iron lamps. The coins were carved “Kang Xi Tong Bao” four characters, indicating it was used during Kangxi Empire of Qing dynasty. According to the shape, structure and cultural relics, the tombs could be dated back to the early period of Qing dynasty. Tomb M3 (one of the two polygonal brick-chambered tombs) was a pentagonal brick-chambered tomb, with tomb tunnel, gate and a raw soil coffin platform. “人” shaped paved bricks on the bottom, staggered joints paved on walls, not complete on the top, without burial objects were all the characteristics of tomb M3. It could be speculated that the period of the tombs was about Song dynasty.
4 earthen shaft pit tombs were all heading in the direction of east-west. Among which, tomb M4 had a slope tomb tunnel, about 3.5 meters in length. The chamber was in square shape, its length of side was about 3 meters, with steep walls. The earth structure of the filling mound in this tomb was similar to that of the grave mound nearby in Jiuliandun Warring States tombs. Inside the tombs, one inner coffin and one outer coffin (including coffin box and side box) were found. Funeral objects were all unearthed from the side box, including Ding tripod, Dui food container, Hu drinking vessel, Dou high-stemmed food container, plate, jar with high neck, and two sets of pottery imitating copper objects: kettle-shaped object, jar-shaped Ding tripod, altogether 20 pieces (sets). According to the tomb shape and structure, funeral objects, the tombs could be dated back to the middle period of the Warring States. The rest 3 small-sized shaft pit tombs were rectangular, only few tile-pillows unearthed, dated back to Qing dynasty.
From the unearthed tombs, the shape, structure and funeral objects of the Warring States and Qing dynasty was nearly the same as those of the tombs of the same period found in the Suizhou and Zaoyang area. The shape and structure of Song dynasty was different, and less common to be found in this area. The excavation enriched the burial materials of Zaoyang, and providing material data for understanding the history, culture and burial customs of this area. （Translator：Wang Jue）