Large-scaled tombs of the Warring States Period and Wooden-structure Wells of the Zhou Dynasty Found in Jinan
From August to December in 2016, Jinan Municipal Institute of Archaeology had conducted a salvage excavation to two tombs of the Warring States Period and two wooden-structure wells of the Zhou dynasty, which is located in Baoshan Street, Licheng District, Jinan city, Shandong Province.
The Bird's-eye view of tomb M1
Tomb M1 was a “甲” shaped earthen shaft pit tomb with stone mound on the top and wooden outer coffin inside. At the time of excavation, the tomb passage was about 12.75 meters’ long, 7-9 meters’ wide; and the opening of the chamber was about 22.85 meters’, 21 meters’ wide. A burial dog was found at the southeastern and southwestern corner of the chamber each. The chamber of wooden outer coffin was 5.35 meters’ wide, 6.5 meters’ long, 2 meters’ deep, the wall of which was built by large-scaled stones, filled with pebbles and shells in the gap. In total, more than 40 pieces (sets) of burial objects were unearthed, however, most of which were damaged. According to the preliminary statistics, there were 19 pieces of copper chimes (Bianzhong an ancient Chinese musical instrument consisting of a set of bronze bells, including 4 pieces of Bo bells and 15 pieces of Niu bells), 9 pieces of Goudiao (a kind of percussion instrument), 4 pieces of Dou vessels with cover, 1 piece of Lei vessel; and several pieces of round copper rings, fragments of copper vessels and chimes stone Qing (ancient instruments made from highly polished marble slabs in various shapes). Inside the fillings, small golden rings, copper arrowheads, copper daggers, Gui-shaped copper pieces, jade Bi disk, ornaments made of bones and shells, in total 30 pieces were excavated. Meanwhile 8 pieces of bone tools and shell ornaments, as well as 2 pieces of copper rings were found inside the filled earth.
The well J1
Tomb M2 was located at about 150 meters’ west of Tomb M1, it was an earthen shaft pit tomb with stone mound on the top and wooden outer coffin inside, but only the chamber outer coffin was left. The chamber was about 3.5 meters’ long, 2.4 to 2.6 meters’ wide, 0.84 meters deep. One layer of irregular slab stones was paved at the bottom of the chamber, and added by about 0.12 meters’ thick of pebbles, then one outer coffin and one inner coffin were laid upon. In total, 8 pieces of burial objects were unearthed, all of which were laid around the east and west of the inner and outer coffin; 2 pieces of copper Zun vessel were at the northwest, 2 pieces of copper daggers and 1 bone sculpture were at the southwest, 1 round copper box were at the northeast, 1 copper mirror and 1 copper sword were at the middle east, and 1 iron adze were found in the pebbles at the north.
The stone chime
Also, during the excavation of Tomb M1, two wells were found. They were in the same shape and structure, upper part were damaged, the plane were in the shape of oval, with complete persevered wooden frame, and layers and layers of timber were laid upon. According to the pottery shards unearthed from the wells, it was speculated to be from the Spring and Autumn period. In order to further study and exhibit, the upper part was integrally moved indoor to be protected and cleared.
The bronze bell found in the tomb
The box shaped burial objects
Although both of the tombs were seriously destroyed, the structures were complete, with rich amount of burial objects. Especially Tomb M1 was the largest tomb of the Warring States Period found in the area of Jinan and even Shandong recently. According to the shape and structure, also the burial objects, it could be speculated that the occupant was a noble ranked to Dafu (senior official), and the period of about the late of the Warring States. While that of Tomb M2 was ranked to Shi (literati and official), might be the accessory burial tomb or family tomb. Apart from that, complete wooden well of the Zhou dynasty appearing in Shandong area was rare, which providing the significance to understanding the environment change and settlement pattern in the local area . (Translator: Wang Jue)