In 2011, archaeologists in Datong City, China, discovered a tomb, dating back around 1,500 years, which contains the remains of a woman named Farong, who was buried with fantastic jewelry. This photo shows Farong's coffin and the remains of her skeleton. Her skull rests on a pillow of lime.
Two gold earrings were found beside Farong's skull in Datong City, China. The large gems seen at the bottom of the image are both amethysts. An image of a human figure (whose identity is unknown) are seen at the center of the earrings. The human figures are flanked by dragons.
Shaped like teardrops
Three teardrop-shaped gold designs decorate the sides of the earrings. These decorations were inlaid with gemstones. Gold chains also hung down the sides of the earrings.
A necklace, made of nearly 5,000 beads, was also found near the skull of Farong. Most of the beads are very tiny and have green and black colors. While the thread of the necklace had decomposed, the beads were still in their original location and archaeologists were able to reconstruct the necklace.
An epitaph was found by the tomb entrance. It simply reads (in translation) as "Han Farong, the wife of Magistrate Cui Zhen." In China, the surname is traditionally spelled first and the given name second.
This photo shows a stone lamp that was also found in Farong's tomb. Carved of white sandstone, it is 38 centimeters (about 15 inches) high.
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Owen Jarus is a regular contributor to Live Science who writes about archaeology and humans' past. He has also written for The Independent (UK), The Canadian Press (CP) and The Associated Press (AP), among others. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.