600-year-old tombs found in China

April 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM
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NANCHANG, China, April 5 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in China say they've discovered rare mural paintings with still-vibrant colors in a 600-year-old tomb dating to the Ming Dynasty.

The tomb was uncovered during construction of a parking lot in Xingzi County in east China's Jiangxi Province, the Archaeology Institute of Xingzi County said Thursday.

Murals inside the tomb show a strong religious influence and depict peonies, lotuses, chrysanthemums and sticks of bamboo with red, black, blue and yellow hues, the institute said.

The tomb has not been damaged by thieves or vandals, but most of the murals are in poor condition -- except for some well-preserved paintings with vibrant coloring, covering an area on the tomb's eastern wall, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Tombs with murals are common in northern China but rare in the south, and the Jiangxi tomb is the first tomb with murals from the Ming era found in the region, institute experts said.

Such tombs are normally found in clusters, archaeologists said, and excavations will be carried out in attempt to determine the identity of the tomb owners.

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