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3500-year-old tombs excavated in western Tibet

Tibet's western region, Ngari. (Chinese: Ali) Photo courtesy: Xinhua
Tibet’s western region, Ngari. (Chinese: Ali) Photo courtesy: Xinhua

(TibetanReview.net, Apr11, 2018) – Archaeologists in Chinese ruled Tibet have announced Apr 9 that they have excavated tombs dating back some 3,500 years in the territory’s remote western region of Ali (Tibetan: Ngari). A total of nine tombs were found at ruins 10 km from the county seat of Zanda (Tsamda) in Ali Prefecture, China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 9 cited Shaka Wangdui, an archaeologist with the regional institute of cultural heritage protection, as saying.

The report said the discovery was made after excavation was carried out on the ruins in the Sangda valley along the Langchen Zangbo River (which would be near the source of the Yarlung Tsangpo river, known as the Brahmaputra upon entering India) from Jul to Aug 2017.

The report said Carbon Dating was used to determine that the tombs were in two groups, with the first group being around 3,000 to 3,500 years old, and the second group being around 2,100 to 2,300 years old.

Shaka Wangdui has said the first group of tombs were formed by stones placed one by one in a circle, while the second group were pits.

Stoneware, earthenware and bones and bells were stated to have been found in the tombs.

The report said the tombs were the oldest with bronze articles, including rings and bells, found in Tibet.

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