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2,000-year old tombs discovered in Shaanxi
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-02-17 17:21
Chinese archaeologists have unearthed 20 new tombs at a massive 2,000-year-old imperial mausoleum in Shaanxi Province.

The newly discovered tombs are among 800 tombs at the Hanyang Mausoleum, 20 kilometers north of Xi'an and near the world famous terracotta warriors.

The Hanyang Mausoleum is a place where the fourth emperor Liu Qi and his empress of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD) were entombed. The site is the most complete mausoleum from this dynasty ever discovered.

To date, more than 260 subsidiary tombs housing minor members of imperial families, nobles or officials have been unearthed around the mausoleum, said Ma Yongying, director of the archaeological research team at the Hanyang Mausoleum.

The 20 newly unearthed tombs belong to the early period of the Western Han Dynasty. The tombs are 10 to 14 meters deep with 20 to40-meter long brick tunnels leading to the main chamber and 10 to18-meter-wide chamber entrances.

According to Ma, a number of relics, featuring colored terracotta figurines and a variety of musical instruments have been recovered from the tombs.

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