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Archaeologists identify remains from mausoleum

2014-03-14 16:55 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Wang Fan

Archaeologists in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, recently identified two carbonized cultural relics as originally catalpa and silk, made 2,000 years ago and rare to have survived so long, Xi'an Evening News reported on Friday.

The relics were discovered in the No 1 pit in the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum by an archaeological team during the third excavation of the pit.

The wood remains came from a box for holding weapons in ancient times and were identified to be made of catalpa wood, tree considered to provide the best material for wood products.

Archaeologists also found remains of silk in the wood box relic and the clear cut silk could be seen under a microscope.

There were some 30 warps and 30 wefts in every square centimeter of the silk remains, and the warps and wefts were made of a dozen silk strands with an average diameter of about 0.38 mm. The silk remains were believed to be the lining of the box.

The discovery and identification has greatly expanded the field of archaeological research, and reached the goal of the excavation to comprehensively expose the cultural connotations of the ancient remains.

The pit, located in the eastern suburbs of Xi'an, is part of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), and was found in 1974.

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