These images show pristine wall art and delicate earthenware inside a stunning thousand-year-old imperial tomb unearthed by builders creating a school sports field.
The underground chamber – believed to be one of several rooms – was located underneath Xiaojingyu Elementary School in the city of Taiyuan, capital of North China’s Shanxi Province, on 16th August.
The school field was undergoing renovations, with workers said to have been sinking new foundations when their excavators unintentionally punched through the ceiling of the burial chambers.
Taiyuan officials said the perfectly preserved murals and pottery appeared to be from the middle of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 907 AD).
Images show the artworks depicting women, scholars, trees, and even a phoenix and tiger.
A cultural relics expert told local media the work bears the style of a roughly half-century period known as ‘Sheng Tang’, when the dynasty flourished between AD 713 and 766.
According to reports, a tombstone inside the burial chamber suggested the individual laid to rest underground was “not a commoner”, however, their identity remains shrouded in mystery.
Construction work at Xiaojingyu Elementary School, which is in Taiyuan’s Wanbailin District, has been halted since the precious discovery.
An official admitted further excavations into the tomb would not be easy due to the primary school’s teaching buildings nearby.
The work would require extensive negotiations with the school, which could be asked to relocate and have its building demolished.
The Tang era is seen by many historians as an era of progress as well as the greatest period for Chinese poetry, with Chinese civilisation flourishing during the first half of the dynasty before the empire eventually collapsed under social unrest.
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Story By: John Feng, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Asia Wire Report
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