Han Dynasty burial ground in Shaanxi produces rare painted pottery
Web Editor:International Daily
An archeological dig in northwest China's Xixian New Area yielded an array of exquisite painted ceramics that date back to the Western Han dynasty (202 BC–9 AD), and may shed new light on the artistic sensibility and political evolution of the early years of China's imperial era.Archeologists at the newly excavated site have unearthed a large-scale cemetery housing many tombs. While a number of them were raided centuries ago, most of the burial chambers remain intact.So far, archeological workers have found nearly 300 artifacts at the site in Gaozhuang Town which range from bronzeware, to jade ornaments, and boldly colored pottery.The pottery items, which are mostly ritual utensils, are covered in intricate patterns composed of fluid lines. They reveal early Chinese civilizations' understanding of mortality and the afterlife."Some of the patterns are clearly meant to depict the clouds and haze of a realm beyond the human world. These must have been images formed in the human imagination. It will offer a glimpse of the earliest human efforts to comprehend death and mortality," said Shao Jing, an archeologist.On one of the pieces, archeologists can make out the Chinese characters "Xincheng", meaning "New Town". This refers back to a historical episode in which the ancient city of Xianyang was temporarily renamed in the early Western Han dynasty, and researchers at the site are expecting to gather more information about how the urban areas at that time were run.