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Mural Tomb Found in Shanxi

TAIYUAN,September 10 -- Seven ancient tombs decorated with delicate murals, together with a batch of burial articles, were recently excavated in Loufan County, Shanxi Province, according to latest issue of Beijing Review.

All the tombs, according to the archaeologists, were built in the early Northern Song Dynasty£®960-1127£©. Six are located in an area of approximately 160 square meters, and the seventh is some distance away. Lining up in a half-oval shape, the brick tombs all have arched roofs.

The tombs, with the longest having an inner diameter of 275 cm, are 350 cm high inside. Brick beds, instead of coffins, are inside the tombs. The beds are 21cm high and 170-180 cm wide, with skeletons, or cinerary urns, on top.

Murals of legendary immortals and figures in rich colors of blue, black and brown were painted around the inner walls of the tombs. Excavated funeral objects include porcelain bowls, plates, jars, drinking utensils and jewelry.

According to historical records, Loufan County enjoyed economic and cultural prosperity during the Tang £®618-907£©and the Song£®960-1279£© dynasties. The master of the tombs may have been a high-ranking officer.

Archaeologists believe the murals in the tombs are of great value to research of Chinese traditional culture, folk customs and religions. The local heritage protection department is salvaging the tomb relics.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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