Archaeology New Desert Coffins Unearthed in Xinjiang

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Archeologists found the first wooden coffins with mud cover at Lop Nur Desert in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to the regional archeology institute.

    Excavation of Xiaohe tomb complex began in October in 2003, leading to the discovery of 108 tombs so far. The most recent excavation yielded 33 tombs, including 25 for adults and eight for children.

    Those buried in coffins with mud cover may be of relatively high social status. But the conclusion can only be made after the coffins are opened, according to scientists with the institute.

    Archeologists have unearthed two coffins covered with mud at the deepest burial layers. The coffins were surrounded with wooden stakes. The head of cow was hung from the top of each stake.

    Before the discovery, all wooden coffins were made from the wood of a poplar tree, endemic to the desert areas in northwest China. Usually the coffins had no bottoms and were covered with cowhides.

    Xiaohe tomb complex was first discovered in 1934.

    (Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2005)