Chinese archaeologists on Sunday opened the lid of the external coffin of a 2,000-year-old tomb, which they believe belonged to a nobleman of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD).
They found a large number of gold and jade items and a piece of fine lacquerware decorated with gold foil in the space between the inner and external coffin.
The external plank is 11 feet (3.4 meters) long and just over 5 feet (1.6 meters) wide. They also discovered a painting of rosefinch on top of the inner coffin.
“We are glad to see the interior coffin is well preserved. There are lacquer paintings on its surface,” Xin Lixiang, who is in charge of the project, said.
Researchers believe the tomb belonged to Liu He, grandson of Emperor Wu, who held the title “Haihunhou,” or “Marquis of Haihun.” They hope to find his seal in the interior coffin, which would confirm the occupant’s identity.
The Haihunhou mausoleum near Nanchang city, capital of East China’s Jiangxi province, covers some 430,000 square miles (40,000 square meters) with eight tombs and a chariot burial site and walls that stretch almost 3,000 feet (900 meters).