Archaeologists in China believe they have unearthed the most complete cemetery stemming from the Western Han Dynasty. It was the first part of the Han Dynasty, which dates back to 206BC to 9AD, and China's second imperial dynasty after the Qin Dynasty.
The 40,000 sq km cemetery was found in Nanchang, capital of the Jiangxi province. Included within the cemetery were eight tombs and a chariot burial site.
Furthermore, the archaeologists believe the grandest tomb is the resting place of Liu He, who was the grandson of one of the Western Han Dynasty's most successful rulers – Emperor Wu. Xin Lixiang of the China National Museum said the next step is to look within the tomb for items that will give a clearer idea of the occupant. Xin said: "There may be a royal seal and jade clothes that will suggest the status and identity of the tombs occupant."
The team from the Jiangxi provincial cultural relics research institute say they have found 10 tonnes of Wuzhu bronze coins together with more than 10,000 other gold, bronze and iron items in the cemetery.
Xu Changqing, director of Jiangxi provincial cultural relics research institute, said the discovery of the cemetery with the chariot burials, which they believe could lead them to the capital of the Haihun kingdom, will help archaeologists better understand the era. He told ECNS.cn: "The chariot burial is an important part of the tomb.
"The discovery will be important for the study of hierarchical burial customs and articles used in burial. The discovery can help us understand the social, economic and cultural status in Western Han Dynasty, and even the development of music, transportation, metrology, and the evolution of Chinese characters and arts."