Discovery

Chinese archaeologists find 2,800-year old burial of chariots and horses

“Chinese archaeologists find 2,800-year old burial of chariots and horses”

by Ruth Schuster via “Reuters

 Grave of chariots, 770 BC-476 BC, Zaoyang (Reuters)

Archaeologists excavating ancient tombs in central China have unearthed 28 chariots and 49 pairs of horse skeletons dating back three millennia.

The 2,800-year-old group of tombs, which dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) is located in the city of Zaoyang, in the province of Hubei. Current explorations have found at least 30 tombs of various sizes.

Preliminary studies show that the tombs belong to high-ranking nobles of the period in Chinese history.

Now a new 33-meter long, four-meter wide chariot pit has been discovered. “This chariot and horse pit is different from those discovered previously along the Yangtze River. The chariots and horses were densely buried,” said Liu Xu, professor from School ofArchaeology and Museology of Peking University. ” Many of the wheels were taken off and the rest parts of the chariots were placed one by one.”

At least 28 chariots were discovered in three months of excavation. About five meters away the chariot pit was a horse pit, where at least 49 pairs of horse skeletons were discovered.

“Judging from the way the horses were buried, they were buried after they were killed, as there was no trace of struggle. Second, it is the way they were laid. They were laid back to back, lying on their sides. It means that two horses pull one chariot,” said Huang Wenxin, researcher from the provincial archaeological institute. . . .

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Australia dig unearths Batavia mutiny skeleton

“Australia dig unearths Batavia mutiny skeleton”

via “BBC News Australia

The excavated skeleton

The skeleton of a victim from one of Australia’s most famous shipwrecks has been unearthed by archaeologists.

The remains on Beacon Island, off Western Australia, date from the wreck of the Dutch East India ship the Batavia in 1629.

In the aftermath of the disaster, more than 100 survivors were murdered by a group of mutineers.

Maritime experts hope the latest find will shed new light on the episode.

The wreck site was first discovered in 1963 and a mass grave was found in 1999.

But Dr Daniel Franklin, of The University of Western Australia Centre for Forensic Science, said this was the first skeleton to be found undisturbed on Beacon Island through archaeological investigations.

He said it “represents a unique opportunity to reconstruct events surrounding this individual’s death and internment”.

Experts excavating the skeleton
The Batavia story is well-known across Australia

Jeremy Green, head of maritime archaeology at the Western Australian Museum, said they hoped to learn more about about the life of sailors on board Dutch East India Company ships.

“It is as much about knowing where the people came from, what their diet was, as well as how they died,” he said.

The skeleton is of an adolescent and two musket balls were reported to have been found nearby.

The Batavia had sailed from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies but veered off course and was shipwrecked in the Abrolhos Islands. . . . .

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I’m Living In An Archaeology Dig!

I’m apparently living out my dream in an Archaeology Dig!  Students were told today that in the building of the new college library here on campus, they found a massive ancient burial ground!  According to what I’ve been told, they estimate at least 1400 years old.  They believe that the people here were commoners who died peacefully, and after looking at the bodies, they are certainly mostly whole.  It is incredibly fascinating to see.  The students are allowed to simply wander around the burial spots at least until Monday when they will be closed off by the historians and archeologists.  I’ll post more pictures soon.  So Cool!!

“Over 1,000 Ancient Buddha Statues Uncovered in China”

“Over 1,000 Ancient Buddha Statues Uncovered in China”

by April Holloway via “Epoch Times

“Archaeologists have discovered more than 1,000 ancient Buddha statues in three stone caves on a cliff-face in Yangqu County, in north China’s Shanxi Province, according to a report in China.org.cn. Although official dating has not yet been carried out, it is believed that the statues date back to the Ming Dynasty.

The Ming dynasty, was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years (1368–1644 AD) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history”, was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. The creation of stone Buddha statues reached its peak during the period from the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589) to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), so it is rare to find stone Buddha statues from the Ming Dynasty.

According to traditional accounts, Buddhism was introduced in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) after an emperor dreamed of a flying golden man thought to be the Buddha. Although the archaeological record confirms that Buddhism was introduced sometime during the Han dynasty, it did not flourish in China until the Six Dynasties period (220-589 AD). The year 67 CE saw Buddhism’s official introduction to China with the coming of the two monks Moton and Chufarlan.

The latest finding including stone statues carved into the cave walls and measuring 12 to 25 centimetres long, said Yang Jifu, director of the county’s cultural heritage tourism bureau. Yang said two of the caves had been restored in the Ming Dynasty, according to the record on two steles in the caves. . . . .”

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