The largest tomb from ancient Chu State uncovered

An undated photo shows the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows researchers working at the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows researchers working at the Wuwangdun tomb excavation site in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows wooden lacquerware artefacts excavated from the Wuwangdun tomb in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows wooden lacquerware artefacts excavated from the Wuwangdun tomb in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows artifacts unearthed from the Wuwangdun tomb in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

An undated photo shows artifacts unearthed from the Wuwangdun tomb in Huainan City, Anhui Province. /CMG

The National Cultural Heritage Administration announced its latest findings on Tuesday, confirming that the Wuwangdun tomb in east China’s Huainan City, Anhui Province is the largest and highest-level tomb site of the ancient Chu State with a history of over 2,200 years. Covering an area of some 1.5 million square meters, the mausoleum complex includes a main tomb, a chariot and horse pit, accompanying tombs, and sacrificial pits.

Among the most notable discoveries at the site is the largest ancient bamboo mat ever found in China, along with bronzeware, intricately carved wooden figurines and well-preserved seeds. Concurrent analyses, including carbon-14 dating, tree species identification, infrared examination of inscriptions, and material and manufacturing studies of lacquerware and textiles, shed new light on the cultural and historical significance of this ancient site.