Jiuliandun, Hubei Province

 

More 4th-century tombs were discovered at Jiuliandun, in Zaoynang, Hubei Province in 2002. They belonged to as yet unidentified nobility of Chu.

Map of Hubei Province

http://www.maps-of-china.com/hubei-s-ow.shtml

Map - the State of Chu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EN-CHU260BCE.jpg

Aerial view of two tombs at Juliandun

Their grandeur is clear from this aerial view. Two 'inverted pyramids' had 14 step ledges down their sloping sides and accessory chariot pits. The pit associated with Tomb 1 had 33 bronze chariots and the bones of 72 horses. One chariot was drawn by six horses, suitable for an emperor. Pit 2 had 7 chariots

Aerial view of two tombs at  Juliandun

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Apollo March 2011, p. 135, fig. 5

The four chambers of Jiuliandun 2

The outer section of the tomb had four parts in a plan similar to that used for the Marquis of Yi (who died in 433), using a horizontal rather than vertical axis to create an underground 'palace'. This Chu practice is developed by the Han.

The four chambers of Jiuliandun 2

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Apollo March 2011, p. 137, fig. 8

Lacquered dou from tomb 2

One of the tombs had a coffin 2.36 metres long, 1.35 wide and 0.91 high, painted red inside, with about 40 pieces of 'bronze or jade' with holes, an embroidered shoe, comb and this lacquered dou (31cms high).

The tomb complex also revealed more than 1000 bamboo slips. Unlike those found in other burials these were without words.

Lacquered dou from tomb 2

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media-office/homage-ancestors

Bronze vessels in Jiuliandun 1

The other tomb had many bronze vessels

Bronze vessels in Jiuliandun 1

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Apollo March 2011, p. 136, fig. 6

Bronze bells in Jiuliandun 1

and a set of bronze bells and other musical instruments, including one with 25 strings like a zither.

Bronze bells in Jiuliandun 1

Apollo March 2011, p. 136, fig. 7