New Discoveries Unearthed in the Ancient Dingshan Tombs in Wenzhou

On October 18, 2018, an excavation report was released about the Dingshan ancient tombs newly discovered in Wenzhou, China, where hundreds of cultural relics have been unearthed, including a glass bowl imported from the ancient Persia. Many of the unearthed are discovered for the first time in Wenzhou, giving new clues to the history of the ancient city. The excavation of the Dingshan tombs has been the first time for the city of Wenzhou to discover the largest number of ancient tombs of the Han Dynasty (BC 202 – AD 220) and the Six Dynasties (AD 222 -- 589) so far with abundant unearthed objects and new discoveries, among which newly discovered in Wenzhou are glass bowl, gold pearl, bronze crossbow, inkstone, celadon bowl with a handle, portrait brick and so on.

wenzhou dingshan tomb 1     wenzhou dingshan tomb 2

From May to September 2018, Wenzhou Institute of Cultural Relics Protection and Archeology and Yongjia Museum conducted a joint salvage archeological excavation on the Dingshan tombs in Oubei, Yongjia County of Wenzhou under the approval of China National Cultural Heritage Administration. The excavation team unearthed 68 ancient tombs, including 50 dating back to the Han Dynasty and the Six Dynasties, 1 of the Tang Dynasty, 1 of the Song Dynasty and 7 Ming and Qing tombs and discovered more than 200 objects of porcelain, bronze and glass etc.

Burial objects were found in most tombs, including kettle with a tray-shaped mouth, pot, bowl, inkstone, alms bowl, spittoon, water pot as well as different objects made of gold, silver, bronze, steel and glass etc. Among the unearth tombs, Tomb M37 dating back to the second year of Xiankang in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 336) is particularly abundant with various burial objects, including 17 pieces of celadon objects, 1 bronze crossbow, 1 glass bowl, 1 inkstone, 3 sliver rings, 2 steel mirrors and 1 copper coin. The most uncommon is the glass bowl, which could only be found in some tombs of high-rank nobles in the same period.

The Dingshan tombs last a long time and are distributed in an organized way with clarified timing and standard burial objects, which are of great significance to the study of the history of the ancient Wenzhou.


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