Archaeologists have discovered a Ming Dynasty tomb at a construction site in Nanjing, in China, revealing the skeleton of a woman named Lady Mei, along with brilliant gold treasures. Here's a look at the gold treasures and Lady Mei's tomb. [Read the full story on Lady Mei's tomb]

An ancient royal

 

Archaeologists in Nanjing, in China, have unearthed a Ming Dynasty tomb that belonged to Lady Mei. Inscribed stone epitaphs found in the tomb say that she died in the year 1474 at the age of 45. Within the tomb archaeologists found fantastic gold artifacts inlaid with gemstones. This image shows a gold hairpin with a flame design. The diameter of the hairpin is 11.2 centimeters (4.4 inches). It still has six sapphires and six rubies on its outer layer while there is a large ruby at center. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Detailed work

 

A side view of the hairpin with the flame design. The pin itself is 12.3 centimeters (4.8 inches) long and the weight of the artifact is 115.4 grams (about 4 ounces). (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


More beauty

 

A pair of gold bracelets found in the tomb. Both of them are about 7 centimeters (2.8 inches) in diameter. The bracelets have flower designs and the gemstones are a mix of sapphires, rubies and turquoise. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Assorted gems

 

This gold hairpin is decorated with a mix of sapphires and rubies. The hairpin is 14.2 centimeters (5.6 inches) in width and its weight is 148.7 grams (more than 5 ounces). (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Meticulous decorations

 

A fragrance box with gold chain. It is decorated with lotus petal decorations and seven characters written in Sanskrit. The remaining gems include four sapphires, five rubies and one turquoise. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Excessive wealth

 

A gold hairpin in the shape of a chrysanthemum (flowering plant). It has a large ruby at center and a mix of smaller sapphires and rubies on its petals. The diameter at the largest point is 11.7 centimeters (4.6 inches). The total weight of the artifact is 218.2 grams (more than 7.5 ounces). (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Amazing details

 

Two gold hairpins with branches and tendril patterns. The hairpin at left has three sapphires, three rubies, one crystal and one turquoise. The one at right has two sapphires, four rubies and one cat’s eye stone. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Beautiful accessories

 

A gold hairpin with a seven petal lotus design. A large ruby gemstone is still preserved at center. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)


Ancient beauty

 

The brick tomb was excavated in 2008 by archaeologists from Nanjing Municipal Museum and the Jiangning District Museum of Nanjing City. Their report was initially published, in Chinese, in the journal Wenwu and was translated into English and published in the most recent edition of the journal Chinese Cultural Relics. This image shows a black and white image of the tomb’s exterior. The tomb has a vaulted roof. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics)

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