A 3,100-year-old tomb filled with bronze food vessels that have incredible designs has been discovered in Baoji City in China. This photo shows a "tureen," a vessel that is often used to serve soup. It has four handles and 192 spikes on it. Images of bovine can be seen on the tureen's handles. The vessel is 30 cm (12 inches) in height and the diameter of the opening of the vessel is 34.6 cm (13.6 inches). [Read the full story on the ancient China tomb]
A wine vessel in the shape of a deer. A lid at top with a knob can be opened, the wine poured in and out. A variety of patterns can be seen on the vessel. This wine vessel is 41.5 cm (16.3 inches) in height. A second wine vessel that is also in the shape of a deer was also found in the tomb. That vessel is a bit smaller at 31.1 cm (12.2 inches) in height.
Stored in the walls
Many of the food vessels were found in niches in the wall of the tomb. The person buried in the tomb was found in a badly decomposed state and it's uncertain who they were although they would have been of elite status.
Images of animal masks can be seen engraved on this cauldron along with complex geometric designs. An inscription that includes the name of a clan called "Wei" can be seen. A few of the other food vessels in the tomb also have clan names however the name of the clans are different on the various vessels. This has led archaeologists to speculate that these vessels may have been stolen from different clans during a war and given to the occupant of the tomb. This particular cauldron is 25 cm (9.8 inches) in height.
Another cauldron this one containing circular protrusions which archaeologists call "bosses." The vessel is decorated with engravings of dragons. It is 22.5 cm (8.9 inches) in height.
This tureen, a vessel that can be used to serve soup, also has short circular bosses and is 18 cm (7 inches) in height. It has an opening diameter of 27.2 cm (10.7 inches). Images of animal masks and bird-like creatures can be seen.
Another tureen, this one on a square pedestal. Images of dragons and creatures that have elephant trunks, wings and human heads can be seen. Altogether the vessel is 24.3 cm (9.6 inches) in height.
This tureen has a wide variety of complex decorations. It is 16.6 cm (6.5 inches) in height and has an opening diameter of 22.7 cm (8.9 inches).
A steamer mounted on a tripod. The inscription appears to include a clan name or emblem. It is 44 cm (17.3 inches) in height and has an opening diameter of 27.7 cm (10.9 inches).
This necklace is made up of 79 beads and was found in the coffin of the tomb. The beads are made of green jade, red agate and turquoise. Archaeologists think it is likely that the person buried in the tomb was female.
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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.