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Journeys in Time 2010-05-03 National Treasures - The remarkable finds in 2,000-year-old tombs

05-03-2010 16:50 BJT


In the early 1970s, two separate Han-dynasty tomb groups, the Mawangdui Tombs in Hunan and the Yinqueshan Tombs in Shandong were excavated. In the first of these, archaeologists found the 2,000-year old corpse of a woman, in a quite astonishing state of preservation. The second yielded some bamboo slips. These are remarkable for what’s written on them – not only accounts of actual events at the time of the Han Dynasty, but also copies of the classics Sun Zi’s Art of War and Sun Bing’s Art of War. Of course, preserving such old and delicate relics presented a major challenge.

Of course, everyone wanted to know who it was that lay beneath the silk fabric. And what state of preservation would the corpse be in? It was an anxious time for the experts.

Thanks to the hard work and great skill of the experts, it is possible for us to see the ancient treasures of Mawangdui with our own eyes. Yet, even while the excavation of the Mawangdui tombs was progressing, another group of Han-dynasty Tombs was discovered at Yinqueshan in Shandong Province.

That a 2000-year-old corpse can be preserved without decaying, and characters written on bamboo slips can still be read after 2000 years – all this is nothing short of miraculous. But such miracles could not have been achieved, without the efforts of the cultural relics preservation experts.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV.CN

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