3,000-year-old gold mask discovered in royal tombs in China

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-21 21:44:02

A golden mask has been unearthed by archaeologists in central China. It would be the first object of its kind dating from the Shang dynasty (also called the Yin dynasty).

Credit: Weibo via South China Morning Post

In the district of Shangcheng, in Zhengzhou, the capital of the province of Henan, a mask was discovered in the middle of the royal tombs, announced the Chinese national administration of the cultural inheritance, announced Friday September 16.

According to the first findings, it is a golden mask that could be identified as dating from the Shang dynasty that ruled the China the 1570 à 1045 of. J.-C.

This landmark discovery follows that of another gold mask unearthed at the site archaeological from Sanxingdui, in the province of Sichuan, in the fall of 2021. This find is considered one of the most important of the 21st century. The estimate of this first mask discovered dates back to 4800 years ago, at the time of the Kingdom of Shu.

Bronze objects found in royal tombs

Bronze artifact discovered at Sanxingdui site, in 2021? Credit: Chongqing Government

Interestingly, as the site points out Artnews , the Kingdom of Shu and the Shang dynasty coexisted. At the scene of the Sanxingdui archaeological site, gold and bronze had been discovered.

The golden mask discovered a few days ago in Shangcheng is different from the one discovered a year ago now: it completely covers the figure.

On the other hand, as indicated by the director of the Zhengzhou Municipal Research Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology, Gu Wanfa, for the media South China Morning Post , other objects have been unearthed. Shell coins or bronze and jade weapons have been found, as well as gold leaf and turquoise plates in the tombs.

But a mystery still remains, was the golden mask found locally designed or was it acquired through a commercial exchange?

Source : Artnews