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Ancient soup pot unearthed -- with soup

Dec. 13, 2010 at 7:54 PM   |   Comments

BEIJING, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Chinese archaeologists say they've dug up a full pot of 2,400-year-old soup near the ancient capital of Xian, famous for its army of terracotta soldier figures.

Liquid and bones were in a sealed bronze cooking vessel found in a tomb being excavated to make way for an airport extension, the BBC reported Monday.

Tests are being conducted to identify the ingredients in the pot, and also of an odorless liquid, believed to be wine, found nearby.

"It's the first discovery of bone soup in Chinese archaeological history," Liu Daiyun of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology said. "The discovery will play an important role in studying the eating habits and culture of the Warring States Period (475-221BC)."

The tomb could have held the body of either a member of the land-owning class or a low-ranking military officer, archaeologists said.

The terracotta army figures were found near Xiang in 1974 at the burial site of Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor.

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