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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ming Dynasty Lacquer Coffin Discovered in China

Monday, March 11, 2019

GUIYANG, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a painted lacquer coffin was discovered in one of three Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) tombs found by a lake in southwest China. Archaeologists from the Guizhou Province Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute said the tomb in which the coffin was found has been dated to 1581, during the rule of Emperor Wanli. All three tombs are thought to have belonged to the same family. The paintings on the coffin include images of phoenixes, bonsai, red-crowned cranes, and China’s “Four Mythical Creatures”: the Azure Dragon, the White Tiger, the Vermillion Bird, and the Black Turtle. Teeth and bone fragments, gold and silver hairpins, gold earrings, and silver bracelets were also recovered. To read about the discovery of another tomb in China, go to “Underground Party.”

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