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Ancient Tombs Found At Oly Site

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Interesting. Wonder if it will delay construction work?

BEIJING, July 25, 2006 (AFP) - Tombs of eunuchs believed to be around 500 years old have been discovered during construction at a venue for the Beijing Olympics, an official said Tuesday.

The graveyard was discovered in April and, after an extensive dig by cultural relics authorities, construction was only recently restarted, an official surnamed Zheng at China's Shooting Administration Center told AFP.

``The ancient graves were located on part of a field to be used for trap shooting,'' Zheng said.

``Cultural authorities have already removed the big tombs and they have finished their excavation of the site.''

The tombs, near Beijing's western Fragrant Hills, date from the late Ming Dynasty which ruled China from 1368 to 1644, Beijing cultural relics bureau spokeswoman Fan Jun told AFP.

``The best preserved tombs have been moved and will be put on public display,'' she said.

Eunuchs were high-ranking officials that were castrated at a young age and trained to serve the royal court. Many wielded a strong influence over the emperor and the court.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, the biggest tomb was built in a similar fashion as the Ming Tombs, which contain the remains of the Ming emperors on the outskirts of northern Beijing.

Archaeologists also dug up nine intricately carved jade belts from the tombs, which reflected the high status of the eunuchs, it said.


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Guest ryan04

I think that story is old, i rember something like that a while back, maybe not the same venue but something just like that, for Beijing.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, it does look like the tombs have become one of the few hitches to the otherwise speedy Beijing construction schedule:

BEIJING, Oct 16 Reuters - Work was halted at a Beijing Olympic shooting venue after workers unearthed an imperial-era tomb at the site, a Chinese newspaper reported today.

The tomb was located about 100 metres from the site of several Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) tombs unearthed during construction of the Beijing Shooting Range Hall in May, the Beijing Times said.

Workers laying pipe at the site on Saturday night had discovered a ``relatively large chamber with a structure'' and subsequently informed authorities, the paper said.

Heritage workers have since unearthed a metre-thick slab and could discern two finely-carved ``little roofs'' within the chamber, the paper said.

The age of the tomb and its relationship to the tombs discovered in May had not been verified and would require further examination, the paper said, citing a heritage expert.

The tomb's discovery is a rare hitch in Beijing's Olympic venue construction efforts, which have proceeded smoothly and are widely expected to be completed well before the Games' opening in August 2008.


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