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2,200-Year-Old Swan-Shaped Bronze Vessel Found in China

Thursday, May 28, 2020

HENAN PROVINCE, CHINA—China.org reports that a 2,200-year-old tomb has been excavated in central China, at an ancient city site situated along the route between the two ancient capitals of Xi’an and Luoyang. According to Zhu Xiaodong of the Sanmenxia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the tomb may have belonged to a low-ranking official buried around 200 B.C., at the time of the transfer from the Qin Dynasty to the Han Dynasty. Among the artifacts in the tomb, researchers found a bronze helmet, a bronze basin, swords made of iron and jade, and a bronze pot with a long, swan-shaped neck that contained about 100 ounces of liquid. The realistic sculpture is thought to have been modeled after a live swan. “We can boldly estimate that swans may have appeared in Sanmenxia during the late Qin and early Han dynasties,” Zhu said. The yellow-brown liquid found within the pot will be analyzed. To read about a silk topographical map found in the tomb of a Chinese general, go to "Mapping the Past: Han Dynasty Map."

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