1000-year old treasure-filled tomb of a concubine excavated

Archaeologists revealed a large portion of findings from a tomb of an imperial concubine in Duolun county, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The finds date to the Liao Dynasty period (916-1125  AD).

Entrance to the tomb (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)
Aerial overview of the excavation site (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)

The excavations started in 2016 after the tomb was raided by illegal treasure hunting. Public Security Bureau and Cultural Relics Department of Duolun County managed to reclaim a total of 100 archaeological artefacts taken from the site. The tomb belongs to Sio Hala, first empress demoted to the role of concubine due to conflict within the royal family. She was the wife of Emperor Yelü Longxu, also called Liao Shengzong, the sixth emperor of the Liao dynasty. She was also a granddaughter of Empress Dowager Xiao. The name of the concubine appeared on a seal of an inscribed box within the tomb.

Golden crown (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)
Silver boots (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)

Archaeologists were able to unearth numerous precious objects, many of which were either maid with gold or adorned with precious metals, such as silver boots decorated with flower patterns, jade jewellery and pendants, a golden crown, a delicate glass bottle,  a bronze mirror, numerous golden tassels, vessels from green porcelain, a wooden tomb pillow adorned with metal flower-plaques, a bronze candelabrum and small jars made of agate.

Wooden pillow from the tomb (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)
Glass vessel (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)

According to the archaeologists the pottery found within the tomb was produced in Ding and Yue. Ding ware was produced in the prefecture of Dingzhou in Hebei in northern China, while Yue ware originated in northern Zhejiang, in the site of Jiyuan. Ding ware was thin porcelain with a white or greyish body and a nearly transparent white-tinted glaze. The Yue ware was characteristically decorated with celadon glazing.

Golden tessels (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)
Jade jewellery (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)
Bronze candelabrum (by Xilingol Daily via China.org.cn)

(after People’s Daily Online, Xilingol Daily & China.org.cn)

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