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100 horse corpses found in a 2,400-year-old Chinese burial site next to the Tomb of God

Archaeologists in central China have made a remarkable discovery, unearthing a collection of ancient tombs dating back three millennia. The tombs, located in the city of Zaoyang, Hubei province, belong to the Spring and autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), a significant era in Chinese history. The excavation has revealed at least 30 tombs of various sizes, believed to have belonged to high-ranking nobles of the time.

Among the most intriguing findings is a newly discovered chariot pit, measuring 33 meters long and four meters wide. Unlike previous discoveries along the Yangtze river, this pit contains densely buried chariots and horses. according to Professor Liu Xu from the School of archaeology and Museology at Peking University, many of the chariots were found with their wheels removed and carefully arranged side by side.

Within a short span of three months, researchers have unearthed a total of 28 chariots and 49 pairs of horse skeletons in close proximity to the chariot pit. The horse skeletons were laid in a manner suggesting they were buried after being killed, without any signs of struggle. Huang Wenxin, a researcher from the provincial archaeological insтιтute, pointed out that two horses were laid back to back, indicating that they were used to pull a single chariot. This provides valuable insight into the hierarchical structure of the period, where the number of chariots was often an indicator of a country’s strength and power.

 

The Spring and autumn Period in Chinese history was a time of significant societal changes. It marked the end of feudalism and the emergence of powerful states resulting from the consolidation of smaller principalities. Urbanization also began to take root during this period. additionally, a wealthy merchant class was born, and it is believed that some members of this class could have been among those laid to rest in the discovered tombs.

 

The burial of horses alongside the chariots remains a subject of speculation. However, it is known that ancient China practiced human and animal sacrifices to appease weather gods, upon whose benevolence the people depended. This might explain the presence of horse skeletons near the chariots.

 

The Spring and autumn Period holds great significance in Chinese history, and this archaeological discovery provides valuable insights into the lives and customs of high-ranking nobles during that time. as researchers continue to study and analyze the findings, we can expect to gain further knowledge about this intriguing period and its connection to modern Chinese civilization.

It is fascinating to witness how ancient civilizations, including the Chinese and Egyptians, engaged in grand ceremonial burials, often involving sacrifices, as a way to honor the deceased and potentially secure a better afterlife. These findings shed light on the cultural and religious beliefs of these ancient societies, offering a glimpse into the complex tapestry of human history.