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Southern Song Dynasty Tombs Excavated in China

Monday, November 20, 2017

China Hu HongZHEJIANG PROVINCE, CHINA—According to a report in Live Science, two 800-year-old tombs have been unearthed at a construction site in eastern China. Inscriptions identify the tomb occupants as Lord Hu Hong of the Southern Song dynasty, and his wife, née Wu, who was known as the Lady of Virtue. Jianming Zheng of the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said that Hu Hong’s tomb had been robbed, but his wife’s tomb was intact, although the inscription in her tomb was illegible. Hu Hong was remembered as a self-educated man who rose through the ranks of government service. In 1193, he was named the “best county magistrate of the year, and later was described as the “Investigating Censor prosecuting the treacherous and the heretical, with awe-inspiring justice,” at a time when the government cracked down on a religious group who criticized Chinese officials for consuming alcohol and having multiple wives. Hu Hong retired from service in 1200, and died in 1203. His wife died in 1206. In the Lady’s tomb, the excavators found gold jewelry, gold combs, gold and silver hairpins, a crystal disc, and a large amount of mercury which may have been intended to preserve her body. Both tombs contained porcelain jars decorated with elephant designs. To read more about the Song Dynasty, go to "Pirates of the Marine Silk Road."

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