External coffin lid of 2,000-yr-old Chinese tomb opened

Chinese archaeologists on Sunday opened the lid of the external coffin of a 2,000-year-old tomb, which they believe belong to a marquis of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD).

They found a large number of gold and jade items, a piece of fine lacquerware decorated with gold foil in the space between the inner and external coffin.

The external plank is 3.4 meters long and 1.6 meter wide. They also discovered a painting of rosefinch on top of the inner coffin.

"We are glad to see the interior coffin is well preserved. There are lacquer paintings on its surface," said Xin Lixiang, who is in charge of the project.

Researchers believe the tomb belongs to Liu He, grandson of Emperor Wu, who held the title "Haihunhou," or "Marquis of Haihun." They hope to find his seal in the interior coffin, which would confirm the occupant's identity.

The Haihunhou mausoleum near Nanchang City, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, covers some 40,000 square meters with eight tombs and a chariot burial site and walls that stretch almost 900 meters.

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