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1,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb Is Found Filled With Ancient Murals


11.12.14 Rhett Jones

A Chinese tomb was unearthed by researchers and is filled with star maps, poetry and murals. All of the images and findings have now been published in English by Chinese Cultural Relics.

For a tomb, it seems to be seriously lacking in bodies. For one thing, like the pyramids of Egypt, this tomb was reserved for a single, wealthy occupant. Scientists say that the tomb was robbed at some point, and it’s possible that the body was taken by a thief. They also say it’s possible that a statue was placed in the tomb as a substitute for the body, as was sometimes a Buddhist custom at the time.

The murals depict scenes of dining and travel, as well as what is believed to be the occupant’s dog and cat with red ribbons tied around their necks. The ceiling is painted with astrological constellations that “are formed by straight lines connecting the stars in relevant shapes and forms.”

As for the poetry — well, it’s not exactly Yeats. “Time tells that bamboo can endure cold weather. Live as long as the spirits of the crane and turtle,” reads one poem. Maybe it’s a cultural issue, or maybe it’s translation thing, but I have no idea what that means.

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(Photo: Chinese Cultural Relics)