Archaeologists in Inner Mongolia (内蒙古) recently excavated the remains of thirteen tombs, six ash pits, two kiln sites, and an ash trench at a site near the village of Yushuliang (榆树梁行政村) in Dahongcheng Township (大红城乡), Horinger County (林格尔县) in Hohhot (呼和浩特).
Li Qiang (李强), a Research Fellow at the Inner Mongolia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (内蒙古文物考古研究所), told reporters that the brick-chamber tombs excavated at the Jimingyi (鸡鸣驿) site were mostly near-square or rectangular single-chamber structures with domed roofs while the earth-pit tombs consisted of vertical pits, some of which were sealed off with stone blocks or bricks. Grave goods were discovered in and around several of the tombs. The archaeologists unearthed a number of wooden coffins, trapezoidal in shape, most of which contained a single occupant laid to rest in an extended supine position. Clay pots, vases, pottery plates, and iron implements were among the grave goods that were excavated from the tombs.
Six tombs dating to the Tang Dynasty were also discovered, some of which had been sealed off with stone blocks. Most of these tombs contained a single occupant but the archaeologists also registered a small number of joint burials. The majority of the deceased were placed in an extended supine position and some were buried with culturally important grave goods, such as two-handled pottery jars, white porcelain bowls, copper mirrors, iron stirrups and bits, iron arrowheads, and bone combs. A kiln site dating back to the Liao or Jin Dynasty was also discovered at the Jimingyi site. Artefacts excavated from the kiln site include pottery, animal bones, semi-circular tongwa (筒瓦) tiles, and drip tiles (滴水).
Li Qiang concluded his interview by highlighting the rich cultural meaning and importance of the tombs and artefacts discovered at the Jimingyi site. These discoveries, he said, will provide archaeologists with a detailed and reliable source of information for studying the ecological conditions and the political, economic, and cultural history of Inner Mongolia’s southern Yin mountains (阴山) and Yellow River (黄河) valley.
Author’s Note: This is a summary translation of the original article, which can be found here. Please note that I am not a professional translator or archaeologist so there may be errors in my translation.