Remains of chariots, horses unearthed at site of Chinese tombs

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Archaeologists have unearthed 28 chariots and the remains of 49 pairs of horses in central China dating back up to 2800 years.

The find was made during the excavation of ancient tombs in the city of Zaoyang, which lies in Hubei province.

The pit where 28 chariots were unearthed in China's Hubei Province. Photo: China Central TV
The pit where 28 chariots were unearthed in China’s Hubei Province. Photo: China Central TV

The 30 or so tombs in the rea, of varying sizes, are believed to be those of high-ranking nobles.

The chariots were unearthed in a 33-metre by 4-metre pit.

Professor Liu Xu, from the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University, said the wheels appeared to have been removed from each of the chariots before the separated elements of each chariot were placed in the pit.

Just 5 metres away was a pit where the 49 pairs of horse skeletons were discovered.

A researcher told local media that the animals appeared to have been killed before burual.

They had been laid back to back, lying on their sides, suggestive of the two horses required to haul each of the chariots.

Only individuals of high rank would have owned a chariot during the time period in question.

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