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HomeNewsNew discoveries
Mural tomb of Jin Dynasty Discovered in Shanxi Province
From:Chinese Archaeology  Writer:  Date:2017-03-20
The mural tomb of Jin Dynasty was located in Nangou Village, Changzi County, Shanxi Province. From April to May in the year of 2016, Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology conducted salvage excavation towards the looted tombs.

A tomb was discovered, numbered as M1, which was an imitating wooden work dual-chamber mural tomb, consisted of tomb passage, tomb gate, front and back chambers. The tomb in the shape of 凸spans two different terraces, the top of which was partly destroyed and the bottom was robbed.


The northern wall of the mural tomb

Tomb M1’s passage was in the northwest part of the chamber, which was dislocated with the gate, shaft pit with flat bottom, 1.1 m in length, 0.52-0.85 m in width, and 3.8 m in depth. Tomb gate was on the north wall’s middle part of the chamber, blocked with bricks in arc shape, 1.3 m in height, 0.7 m in width and 0.63 m in depth.

The chamber was divided into front and back parts. The front chamber’s earthen shaft presented as square with 2.2 m from east to west, 2.16 m from south to north, and 3.04 m in depth. The wall of earthen shaft was built with bricks, and the top part falling in formed the doom. The bottom of the tomb was paved with large square brick. The coffin bed was build in凹 shape, alongside the wall, which was 0.42 m in height. The corner biased poles was placed in the four points of the bottom with plinth, imitation-wood bracket on the top of the pole, and column brackets were placed on the middle part of the four walls with bearing brackets and sally, covered with tile, forming the tented roof. The back chamber was bricked cave, located to the south of the front chamber, the bottom paved with brick, and the ground was on the same height with the coffin bed.


Filial piety figures:Caishun(left)  Liumingda(right)

The mural was only discovered on the front chamber, composed by three parts, themed mural on the bottom, colored architecture drawing in the middle, and mural on the roof, which was mainly paint with red, yellow, orange and black on the white base.

The chamber’s theme mural was painted from the bottom to architrave, which could be divided into upper and lower parts, with painted flower and branches as separating line. The upper theme mural was 24 filial piety paintings. There were 5 paintings on the north wall, 7 on the east wall, 4 on the south wall, and 8 on the west wall. The lower theme mural was mainly about door and window, laboring and cooking. There were paintings of two people grazing with whip in hand on both side of the tomb gate; there were windows and decorative gate on the east and west walls with laboring painting around; cooking painting was on the lower part of the south wall.

The architectural mural was mainly painted on the brackets and eaves, the theme of which was various flowers. The mural on the top of chamber was mainly painted on the doom with the base color in white, after that draw the sun, moon and stars, phoenix and dragon between the flowing clouds, as well as the painting of way to heaven.

The tomb was disturbed by robbery, therefore, no buried items were found, only some disturbed human bones were discovered.


The southern wall of the mural tomb
 
The structure and mural theme of the tomb was common, which was similar with the mural in the tombs around, the figures and story in 24 filial piety paintings was basically consistent with few different figure, which suggested this tomb belonged to Jin Dynasty. The mural of this tomb preserved well with rich content, which provided new case for the study of the mural and burial customs in Jin Dynasty in northeast of Shanxi.   (Translator: Lang Langtian)


 
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