2,000-year-old pot with mysterious liquid discovered in China

Hyperaxion Jun 1, 2020

The bronze pot was buried with other utensils in a tomb from the period between the Qin and the Han dynasty.

Chinese archaeologists have found a 2,000-year-old bronze pot with 5.2 liters of a mysterious liquid in China’s Henan province. According to the Chinese website China.org, the sample was sent to Beijing for testing and may reveal information about the country’s history.

2,000-year-old pot with mysterious liquid discovered in China
(Credit: Xinhua).

The object was found in an ancient tomb while researchers examined the site for a renovation project. According to Zhu Xiaodong, deputy head of the Sanmenxia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology, this is the first object of its kind found in the city.

Based on the shape of the tomb, it is estimated that the object was built during the transition period from the Qin dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC) to the Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 BC). This was a fundamental moment for the development of China, as it was when its territories were unified.

The shape of the pot intrigued the scientists, who invited a specialist to help with the identification. Gao Ruyi, a senior veterinarian at a local nature park, told local media that “the design resembles a mute swan.” Archaeologists speculate that ancient artisans may have observed animals closely to create the object in such a realistic way.

The team of experts also found a bronze helmet, a bronze basin, iron swords, and jade. It is not yet known why these items were buried, but probably because of the belief that they would be used by the deceased in the afterlife. The mysterious liquid, in turn, will be subjected to chemical analysis to establish its identity.

The 5.2 liters of the liquid will be analyzed in Beijing. (Credit: Sanmenxia Archaeology).

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