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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Horse Bones and Chariots Excavated in China

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

ZHENGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that 90 horse skeletons and four chariots have been recovered from a 2,400-year-old pit in central China. The pit was found in a cemetery of more than 3,000 tombs and 18 pits containing chariots and the remains of horses, near a tomb thought to have belonged to a lord of the Zheng State, who lived during the late Spring and Autumn Period, or sometime between 770 and 476 B.C. “As the main tomb has been looted and no written records have been found yet, it is difficult to identify the tomb owner,” said Ma Juncai of the Henan Province cultural heritage and archaeology institute. The largest of the chariots in this pit was equipped with rain and sun protection for the passenger, and was decorated with bronze and bone artifacts. The horses are thought to have been killed, then placed in the pit, and then covered with pieces of a dismantled chariot. To read about another recent discovery in China, go to “Tomb Couture.”

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