In central China, archaeologists discovered a 1,000-year-old tomb for a couple who were interred together and had a window carved out of the partition wall to maintain their relationship in the afterlife.
The couple was discovered at the historic Tangjiawan cemetery in Ningxiang, Hunan province, lying on the tiled floor of their brick-lined grave with their heads resting on a tile cushion.
Along with the remains, which are believed to have been interred during the Northern Song Dynasty, many pieces of pottery were also found (960 to 1127 AD). Rarely do ancient Chinese tombs have the “fairy bridge” or hole in the wall.
According to national publications China Daily and People’s Daily, their remains were discovered in the tomb but have since been removed.
Prior to preparations to go through the site for the Ningxiang-Shaoshan road, archaeologists started excavating the burial. Vehicle access is anticipated to begin in 2022.
Yang Ningbo, the site’s principal archaeologist, said that it was unusual to come across a pair with a ‘fairy bridge’ erected in between them.
Its foundation is an age-old notion that the window would enable the pair to reunite in the afterlife.
The possibility is presented by the charcoal found outside the tomb’s entrance.
He said that radiocarbon dating would enable them to determine the couple’s possible burial date by more precisely dating the artifacts.
The few burial goods imply that the deceased were ordinary citizens who only owned the most basic possessions.
However, the fact they were buried with them and in a stone tomb implies they may have had access to some riches.
It was one of seven tombs that the Hunan Provincial Research Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology researched after discovering them in a group at Nanfentang Village.
An other tomb that was discovered there belonged to the Eastern Han Dynasty, which lasted from AD 25 to 220. It included only 13 items, including an iron kettle and stand.
It was asserted that the cooking tools are comparable to those used to make a hotpot, a typical Chinese dish.
Following the discovery of a quickly ripening variety of rice, the Northern Song Dynasty oversaw a period of high population development in mainland China and established a number of trade routes.
After the Tang dynasty fell in 960 AD, Emperor Taizu formed the dynasty, with Kaifeng serving as its capital.
The dynasty is responsible for the development of both a more potent form of gunpowder and mobile printing presses, which revolutionized European communication in the 15th century.
The Song court had tried to make peace with outsiders, but its Mongol neighbors, commanded by Kublai Khan, had repeatedly attacked.
Ten years after Marco Polo arrived in Beijing in 1266 AD, when he met the Mongol leader who had already taken over control of the majority of the dynasty, it fell ten years later.