CHANGSHA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists in central China's Hunan Province have unearthed 20 ancient tombs, mostly dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), according to local authorities.
The tombs, along with 75 items discovered in them, shed light on the distinct local culture and society, as well as ethnic integration, said Yuan Wei, an archaeologist who headed the excavation.
The items, unearthed in Qingshuiping Township in Baojing County, include ceremonial ware, daily utensils, ironware, bronzeware and other tomb burial artifacts.
The tombs are concentrated and orderly arranged at a hillside close to the bank of the Youshui River, said Yuan. Among them, tomb No. 6 is a vertical cave tomb with an oval outer frame. It features a special form mostly seen in the middle and upper reaches of the Youshui River.
Another tomb, dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), features stones stacked on the tomb, which is a distinct funeral custom commonly found in western Hunan during that period.
The Qingshuiping tombs mainly consist of small and medium-sized tombs, and the majority of them are from the Han Dynasty, Yuan noted.
"During the Han Dynasty, this was a remote area, a crossroads of multiple cultures at the time," said Yuan. "The artifacts from the site reflect the social order and social management of the time and bear witness to the integration of multiple ethnic groups."