Archaeologists discover China’s ‘oldest gold object’, a funerary mask

Archaeologists have found a gold burial mask believed to be around 3,000 years old. It was discovered in a tomb in the ancient noble city of Zhengzhou in central China.

Since modern treasures are usually made of bronze and jade, the coin is believed to be the oldest gold object ever discovered in central China. Unlike gold masks discovered at ancient sites of the Shu civilization in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, the mask from China’s Central Plains culture is large enough to cover a woman’s entire face. nobody.

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Speaking to China News Service, Huang Fucheng, a researcher at the Zhengzhou Municipal Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archeology, revealed that the gold mask is large enough to cover an adult’s entire face at 7.2 inches (18.3 cm) long and 5.7 inches (14.5 cm) wide and weighs 1.4 ounces (40 grams).

The golden mask was discovered among the ruins of a tomb from the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC) in Shangcheng County, Henan Province.

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Speaking to Henan Broadcasting System, Gu Wanfa, director of the Zhengzhou Municipal Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute, said the golden mask was probably meant to keep the spirit of the deceased whole and that he could have represented that he possessed an “imperishable body of gold”, reported the SCMP.

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“There has been a saying about bubaijinshen, or an imperishable body of gold, since ancient times in China. [The gold mask] proves that the concept has been around since the Shang dynasty,” he said.

According to Chen Lüsheng, deputy director of the National Museum of China in Beijing, the recently discovered Zhengzhou tomb is a major discovery for research into Shang dynasty burial customs and could potentially offer new insight into the beginnings of Chinese civilization.

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