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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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2,200-Year Old Department of Music Found in China

Monday, January 29, 2018

China music officeXI’AN, CHINA—Xinhua News Agency reports that a Qin-Dynasty office building has been uncovered in northwest China. The building’s four rooms had clay walls measuring nearly ten feet thick, possibly made from tiles and bricks. According to Xu Weihong of the Shaanxi Province Research Institute of Archaeology, 23 pieces of chime debris inscribed with the word “beigongyuefu,” which translates to “musical department of the north palace,” have been recovered. Evidence of fire was also found in the structure, but two of the building’s rooms were empty, possibly suggesting that the building was looted and then burned during the uprising that ended the Qin Dynasty in 207 B.C. To read about another recent discovery in China, go to “Underground Party.”

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