This tomb was uncovered recently in Xiangyang China. Researchers found that it dates back about 1,800 years to the early Three Kingdoms period, a time when the country was split into the realms of Wei, Wu and Shu. The two chambers in the back would have been covered by dome shaped roofs in antiquity. A life-size bronze horse can be seen in the anteroom and the back chamber contains two coffins holding the remains of a general, who was about 45 years old when he died, and his wife. Despite the chaos of the time they were buried with beautiful treasures, LiveScience takes a look at some of them in this photo gallery.
When archaeologists finished excavating, and conserving, the bronze horse they found that it measures about 5.3 by 5.3 feet, making it the largest such horse ever found in China.
The horse's face displays a lot of character, was it based on a real life mount the general rode?
Another great discovery was this pottery model of a two story mansion. Highly detailed, and about 3.4 feet tall, it is surrounded by an enclosing wall and gateway, the main doors containing tiny knocker rings. The mast on the roof holds layers that look like a series of umbrellas. Miniature models like this gives clues as to what ancient houses in China may have actually looked like.
This bronze mirror has elaborate patterns that includes depictions of the phoenix and a one-legged demon. Two inscriptions were found on it, one of which reads “To benefit the Descendents Forever” and the other “May the Holder Get the Position of the Three Dukes.” The Three Dukes were the three most powerful positions in ancient China, beneath the emperor.
A jade pig, his snout finely detailed, shown falling asleep.
This glazed pottery model shows a pig pen with a house on the side.
This glazed pottery tomb guardian has his tongue sticking out, a crawling animal on the end of it.
A dog, also made of glazed pottery, shown barking furiously.
A bronze saber discovered in the tomb. An iron saber was also found along with a two edged iron sword.
A bronze crossbow trigger found in the tomb, still, after 1,800 years, in good shape.
Engraved with dragon and tiger patterns on both sides, this jade hollowed disc shows great artistry. It's about 4 inches (11 cm) in diameter.
This bronze vessel stand shows a furry beast, with curly horns on its forehead, turning its head and biting.
These hollow bronze locks have an inscription on one side saying "Made by Yan."
Eight gold bracelets, also found in the tomb.
Crystal and agate beads, strung together.
A silver disc ...
And a gold disc, complimenting the silver. Faint markings appear to be etched on it. No measurements were given but both discs appear to be about the size of a hand.
Twelve bronze ornaments with spiral decoration, they were discovered strung together. Six have square holes and six have circular ones.
Chickens, made of glaze pottery.
Glazed pottery ducks, the general and his wife had plenty of fowl for the afterlife.
A glazed pottery model of a pestle, about 6 inches (15 cm) long. in real life pestles were used for grounding up plants.
An 8 inch (20 cm) ceramic model of a Boshan censer, an item used for burning. In the preceding Han Dynasty clay models of objects were often made for burial with the deceased.
A glazed pottery model of a cosmetic case. It has a concave base and pattern designs.
A bronze censer, its decoration includes flower and plant patterns.
A stone pig figurine, one of three hog images found in the tomb.
A jar finished with a green glaze.
A bronze belt hook, 7 inches (18 cm) long, with a beast head-shaped hook head.
An iron brazier, now rusted, made up of a stove and basin. The overall height is about 7 inches (19 cm) and the diameter of the stove is almost the same.
A bronze lamp, a simple tool, handy for one working their way through the afterlife.