A large tomb which dates back some 2,500 years has been unearthed in China inside a giant burial complex. A team began excavating the site in 2009 and have discovered a series of findings in the 200 grave sites, the most notable being the large tomb which is believed to belong to an ancient royal family.
It contains a chariot graveyard, the resting place of six chariots and 13 complete horse skeletons – all laying on their side, next to one another with decorative items upon them. In the corner of the horses' pit were cow and sheep heads and hooves.
The complex was found in Luoyong city in the Henan Province, and the largest tomb measures 21 ft long by 15 ft wide, with a depth of 17 ft. The mission has been carried out by local authorities, according to the Daily Mail, and is thought to belong to an ancient royal family that stemmed from the Lukun Kingdom – a little known dynasty in China's history which lasted just 113 years from 638BC to 525BC. Little information has been found on this kingdom, but experts hope that this will shed new light on the brief reign.
The Daily Mail reports that the site shows evidence of the Lukun people's migration. It is thought that the Rong people, an ethnic minority group who made up the kingdom, had a custom of burying cattle parts in corners of horses' graves, as has been done at this site.
However, the decoration of the ancient tomb was influenced by surrounding regions during the Spring Autumn period, which lasted from 722BC to 481BC, showing that they had adopted styles from other cultures.
All in all, there are around 200 tombs, with eight horse pits. The area has been plagued by grave robberies recently, but the main tomb was protected by plaster.