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Tombs in Tientsin

Year:1958 Issue:1



Release Date:1958-03-04

Page: 16

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Archaeologists were long sceptical of the possibility of making worthwhile finds in the neighbourhood of Tientsin, north China's biggest port city. But in December 1956, the Cultural Bureau of the Tientsin Municipal Government unearthed a number of tombs in the eastern suburbs of the city dating back to the time of the Warring States (403-221 B.C.). This led to more widespread and intensive archaeological work in the area and last year no less than a dozen ancient tombs were found. Most of those belonging to the Warring States period are in the western and southern suburbs of the city. They yielded jar-shaped coffins, tazza-shaped vessels, cooking pots and kettles, and a small number of knife-shaped coins.

Detail from a stone carving discovered at Yinan, Shantung Province

Detail from a stone carving discovered at Yinan, Shantung Province

Jars, spinning wheels, tiles and coins, all of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), have been found in Ningho County, northeast of Tientsin. Stone coffins and many pottery figurines of the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) were discovered in tombs in the same area. What appears to be the limit of the old coastline in Pohai Bay has also been found in this area - two embankments of sand, soil and oyster shells, each of them a hundred kilometres long and not far from the present sea coast. These finds not only prove that Tientsin was already a populated settlement in the period of the Warring States but give valuable information on the ancient geography of the area.

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