Archaeologists have found an ancient royal "limousine" in central China once owned by the Lord of Zheng State dating back to 2,400 years, after five months of excavation.
Archaeologists have found an ancient royal “limousine” in central China once owned by the Lord of Zheng State dating back to 2,400 years, after five months of excavation. The giant, extravagant chariot, which is 2.56 metres long and 1.66 metres wide, was equipped with rain and sun protection on the top and decorated with bronze and bone ornaments. It has more than 26 spokes in each wheel, which indicated the owner’s noble status.
The “limousine” was excavated in a funerary pit in tomb of Lords of Zheng State, in Xinzheng City, a vassal state during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C) and the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C), state-run Xinhua news agency reported. “The chariot is the largest and most extravagant one so far in the excavation site,” said Ma Juncai, leader of an archaeological team with Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology.
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“The ‘limousine’ was comfortable and spacious. People could stand, sit or lie in it. It was the best public vehicle used by lords of Zheng State and their wives,” Ma said. Archaeologists found four chariots in a pit, which all headed west, toward their founding capital. Ma said that the state was founded in Huaxian County of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. They are cleaning the third chariot. Its left wheel was damaged by tomb robbers.
“There are more horses than chariots in the pit. The excavation is expected to complete in September,” he said. “The new discovery can provide significant evidence for the study on science and technology, production and civilisation of the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period,” Ma said. The excavation of Zheng State tombs and the surrounding 20 hectares of land has already found 18 horse and chariot pits and more than 3,000 tombs.