Horses, history, chariots and verses

Updated: Feb 20, 2024 By Deng Zhangyu CHINA DAILY Print
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A jade disc with unique patterns of the Chu culture is among the thousands of jade wares unearthed from the Xiongjiazhong National Archaeological Heritage Park in Jingzhou, Hubei province. CHINA DAILY

Though still not fully excavated, the ancient Chu mausoleum site attracts increasing numbers of visitors from across the country, Deng Zhangyu reports.

Dressed in the costumes of the 2,500-year-old Chu culture, Zhou Zhou, a marketing manager at the Chu King's Mausoleum at the Xiongjiazhong National Archaeological Heritage Park in Jingzhou, Hubei province, begins work. During the Spring Festival holiday, he and his colleagues at the heritage park, all the way from the ticket sellers to the cleaners, will be dressed Chu-style and will be putting on special performances to welcome visitors from across the country.

The Chu King's Mausoleum is known for its large chariot horse pits and well-preserved tombs, one of which houses one of the rulers of this powerful vassal state, which existed during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). Altogether, the site is comprised of 40 chariot horse pits, from which 43 chariots and 164 horses have been unearthed.

Although the majority of the tombs are yet to be excavated, the presence of chariots and horses attracts tourists interested in exploring ancient military power and experiencing the rich and imaginative culture of the Chu state.

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