The Japan Times
June 29, 1999

China unearths ancient tombs

BEIJING (AFP-Jiji) Chinese archaeologists have unearthed 123 tombs, some as much as 2,500 years old, official media announced Sunday.

The Xinhua news agency said the tombs in Liulin County, in northern China's Shanxi Province, date to as far back as the Warring States Period, from 475 to 221 B.C., and to as recently as the Qing Dynasty, from 1644 to 1911.

Preliminary findings indicated 78 tombs date to the Warring States Period, 36 to the Han Dynasty - from 206 B.C. to A.D. 220 - and nine to later dynasties, Xinhua said.

Chambers in the Warring States tombs were 3 to 5 meters long. They were found at a depth of between 4 and 7 meters.

Most of the brick Han Dynasty tombs had been looted and heavily damaged, with only one containing recoverable relics such as carved doors and pillars, the agency said.