02-21-2009 14:34

Murals over two thousand years old still retaining their colors: that's an amazing find in a tomb in the suburbs of Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province.

Han tomb with murals found
Han tomb with murals found

A ramp leads to the tomb chambers. Murals decorate both the vault and the brick walls.

Cheng Linquan, director, Institute of archeology, said, The upper part is painted with celestial signs and the lower part is painted with life scenes. We see here is a woman carrying a baby, while leading another child. The lines are simple and earthy, reflecting the art style of that era.

Xi'an was the Han dynasty capital around two thousand years ago. Of the four Han tombs found in Xi'an so far, this one is exceptional for its richly illustrated murals. A striking characteristic is the size of the figures, some of which are larger than life. The tallest ones are the gate guards, at two meters.