(TibetanReview.net, Apr06’23) – The earliest tombs, including cave tombs, discovered recently in Tibet dated back to over 3,000 years and were found in Gyelsang cemetery site of Nedong District in Shannan (Tibetan: Lhokha) City, reported to China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 4.
Carbon-14 dating data were stated to show that the cave tombs were built around 1200 BC. A total of 40 ancient tombs, including cave tombs, stone tombs and earth-pit ones, were newly found at the site. They are believed to have been built between the 13th century BC and the seventh century AD during the reign of the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom, the report said.
Relics such as pottery, woodware and stoneware were stated to have been also uncovered. Among all the funerary objects, the majority were stated to be pottery in special shapes with distinct regional characteristics.
Although there is no historical record of any contact between Tibet and China until the seventh century of Tibet’s rule by the Yarlung dynasty (said to be referred to in China’s historical records as the Tubo Kingdom), China’s archaeologists have sought to present these as ancient Chinese relics on the false presumption of Tibet being part of China even then.
The prehistoric cemetery provides evidence that central Tibet had formed a relatively stable cultural area as early as the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1600 BC-256 BC), the report cited Tashi Tsering, a researcher with the regional institute of cultural relics protection, as saying.
The report said it was in 2022 that a joint archaeological team carried out an excavation at the Gyelsang cemetery site, with the total excavation area covering about 300 square metres.