Among the artefacts buried with a Chinese emperor Jing Di of the Han Dynasty the archaeologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered tea which might be the oldest tea remains found so far. The tomb is located near Jing Di’s capital Chang’an – modern Xian. The emperor died in 141 BC, so the tea can be dated to around this year.
The tea discovered in the Emperor’s tomb seems to have been of the finest quality, consisting solely of tea buds – the small unopened leaves of the tea plant. Mass spectrometry analysis was applied to tiny crystals trapped between hairs on the surface of the leaves found in the tomb to determine out that they were tea leaves. Other items included weapons, pottery figurines, an “army” of ceramic animals and several real full size chariots complete with their horses.