Luoyang, Henan Province

 

Marquis Yi of Zeng

The Eastern Zhou moved their capital to Luoyang, on the north (yang) side of the Luo River, a tributary of the Yellow River. Like the area around Xian, Luoyang was strategic and had attracted human life from the Neolithic period. It was a capital site for the Xia, Shang, Zhou (Chengzhou) and Han dynasties.

Here excavations have revealed the wealth of the vassal kingdom of Zeng, in service to the Chu.

Map showing the location of Sui

http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/archae/map.htm

Marquis Yi's tomb

The burial complex of the 'Marquis of Zeng', first discovered in 1977, covered 220 square meters and had four separate chambers. In the northern and smallest were weapons, in the eastern the Marquis's tomb with nested wooden lacquer coffins and eight other coffins of women, in the western coffins of thirteen young women in silk shrouds. In the central and largest was a magnificent set of bronze bells. About 100 metres away another tomb was found subsequently with another set of bronze bells and other musical instruments.

Marquis of Yi's burial complex

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Apollo March 2011, p. 133, fig. 1

The four chambers of his tomb

Dated by inscription to 433, the outer coffin measured 220 square metres. It was timber-built with four chambers.

In it lay the Marquis, with eight young women who had been strangled and a dog, objects of jade, lacquer and bronze, musical instruments and weapons. A pair of daggers was inscribed 'bedroom dagger of marquis of Zeng'. In the central chamber were bronze vessels and bells and stone chimes, in the west 13 young women, and in the north more armour, chariot fittings, bamboo slips and 4000 bronze objects.

Tomb

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Apollo March 2011, p. 134, fig. 4

Marquis Yi of Zeng's coffin

Marquis Yi of Zeng's coffin

http://studydroid.com/imageCards/card-3372042-front.jpg

Marquis Yi of Zeng chariot pit

The 'royal pit' of the Marquis Yi of Zeng had 27 chariots and 76 horses, but no human skeletons and no grave goods.

Marquis  Yi of Zeng chariot  pit

http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/china/luoyang/cp02.html

Chariot burial with a dog

In one chariot a dog was buried.

Chariot burial with a dog

http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/china/luoyang/cp03.html

Bronze gui cooking pot with elephant handles

Bronzes were placed outside the pit

Bronzes were placed outside the pit

http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/china/luoyang/cm03.html

Pottery painted in imitation of bronze

and pottery with decoration painted in imitation of bronze.

Pottery  painted in imitation of bronze

http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/china/luoyang/cp06.html

Some of the bronzes, like this zun-pan (h. 30.1 cm, d. 25 cm), were elaborately decorated.

Bronze zun-pan vessels

Marquis of Yi's bell set

His set of bronze bells was grander than Wang Ziwi's; five men would have been needed to strike them.

A bell that does not belong to the set bore the name of marquis Yi and provides the exact date of 433.

Marquis  of Yi's bell set

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Bianzhong.jpg

Marquis of Yi's painted lacquer deer (77cm)

The painted lacquer deer was in his burial chamber

Marquis  of Yi's painted lacquer deer

Golden Age of Chinese Archaeoelogy, p. 315

and this 'crane' with snake like dragons emerge from its body. It may have been a drum stand.

Bronze crane with deer antlers

His bronze 'crane' with deer antlers (143.5cm), inscribed "Made for the eternal use of Marquis Yi of Zeng"
Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology, p. 296

Bamboo slips

There were also bamboo slips with writing in ink that described the Marquis' funeral and the people who attended.

Earlier the Shang had incised script on the bones of animals or tortoises. Bamboo enabled texts to be painted in ink. The slips could be linked to form a book.

Bamboo slips

Bamboo and Wood Slips - Zhujian yu Mujian
http://www.crystalinks.com/chinascript.html

Chu silk manuscript

Other graves of vassals to the Chu were found in the 1930s. One had a silk manuscript with 926 characters in the Chu script

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http://www.arthurmsacklerfdn.org/includes/collection_chu_silk_manuscript.htm

Line drawing of the manuscript

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http://www.arthurmsacklerfdn.org/includes/collection_chu_silk_manuscript.htm

Line drawing of the figure

and a curious figure, part human and part fantastical.

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http://www.arthurmsacklerfdn.org/includes/collection_chu_silk_manuscript.htm

Chu silk

Chu silk

http://history.cultural-china.com/en/53History1800.html

Chu gold currency

Another excavation revealed the Chu use of gold for currency.

Chu gold currency

http://arts.cultural-china.com/en/143Arts1805.html