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Archaeologists disassemble Han tomb's outer coffin

Reporter: Zhong Shi 丨 CCTV.com

10-30-2016 04:07 BJT

Archaeologists in Jiangxi province are almost finished their excavation of an ancient tomb which belonged to Haihunhou (the Marquis of Haihun)—a Chinese emperor from the Han Dynasty, dating back some 2,000 years.

The archaeologists at the burial site of Haihunhou have been busy disassembling the outer coffin.

“The reason to disassemble the outer coffin is first to protect the wood blocks and then for the convenience of future display,” said Yang Jun, Jiangxi Archaeology Research Institute.

The disassembling process has been underway for one month and will last another two. Every layer, every block is numbered, portrayed, recorded, photographed and scanned before being taken apart.

“The extensive recording process lays the foundation for future restoration as well as display,” Yang said.

The process has turned up wooden tablets with characters and symbols—information that has yet to be decoded. After disassembling is completed, archaeologists will also excavate the bottom of the burial site, to learn more about how it was built.

Meantime, unearthed artifacts are being cleaned and restored. Lacquerware is numbered and filed, and will undergo dehydration, consolidation and restoration.

More than 5,000 bamboo slips bear inscriptions that can only be recognized after more thorough cleaning. Two rounds of infra-red scanning are expected to make out the characters will likely provide more answers to this famous tomb.

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