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Major Discovery: Wuwangdun Tomb No. 1 is the Highest-Level Chu State Tomb to date

Pub Date:24-04-17 17:07 Source:english.anhuinews.com

The Wuwangdun Tomb is located in Xuwa Village, Sanhe Town, Tianjia'an District, Huainan City, Anhui Province. In 2020, its archaeological excavation was included as a key project in the "Archaeological China" program. What is the current progress of the project? What are the important archaeological discoveries?

On April 16th, the Wuwangdun Tomb archaeological excavation project was opened to the media for the first time, and the initial archaeological findings were released. According to reporters on-site, Wuwangdun No. 1 Tomb has entered the phase of excavation and cleaning inside the coffin chamber. Over a thousand numbered cultural relics, including lacquered wooden objects and bronze artifacts, have been extracted. The archaeological discoveries reveal that No. 1 Tomb is of a massive scale, complex structure, and rich content, with a well-organized layout, making it the highest rank tomb of the Chu State.

Through nearly four years of continuous archaeological work, archaeologists have gained a series of new insights into the construction process, coffin structure, and burial system of Wuwangdun No. 1 Tomb:

- Wudong No. 1 Tomb has an independent cemetery with a clear structure and rich content, including the main tomb, accompanying tombs, as well as pits for chariots, and sacrifice pits. It provides important empirical evidence for understanding the burial system of the Chu State in the late Warring States period.

- The bottom diameter of the Wuwangdun No. 1 Tomb exceeds 130 meters, the side length of the opening at the tomb entrance is about 51 meters, and the bottom area of the tomb pit exceeds 400 square meters, making it the largest excavated Chu state tomb.

- Wuwangdun Tomb No. 1 features an extremely complex structure with multiple coffins. The corners of the tomb pit are filled with soil, and there are nine chambers in total within the coffins, forming a multi-layered protection system. It is the first Chu tomb discovered in China with a clear and distinct nine-chamber structure.

- The coffin chamber lid of Wuwangdun No. 1 Tomb bears ink-written characters. Over 100 sentences and nearly a thousand characters have been discovered and collected, representing typical Chu script. Based on the content of the inscriptions and the archaeological context, the inscriptions record the orientation and arrangement of the central coffin lid, as well as the functional zoning within the coffin chamber. They are of great significance for studying the burial construction process, the system of officials and officers, and the names and titles of artifacts in the Chu State.

In summary, Wuwangdun No. 1 Tomb is a massive tomb with a complex structure and rich content, featuring a well-organized layout. It is the highest-level tomb of the Chu State. It provides systematic and scientific archaeological data for studying the historical evolution of the Zhou, Qin, Chu, and Han dynasties, the formation of the unified centralized state and culture in the Qin and Han periods, as well as the social life and historical-cultural landscape after the eastward migration of the Chu State to the Jianghuai region.

Source: anhuinews.com

Editor:Zheng Chen

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