(ORDO NEWS) — Full military armor from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) period was first found in China. This was reported on Monday by the Beijing newspaper “Zhongguo zhibao”. The find, the publication reminds, is included in the list of the ten most important archaeological discoveries of the PRC for 2021.
“Restoration work on the armor is going well,” said Bai Rongjin, an expert on ancient defensive weapons from the Institute of Archeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
The protection of a warrior who lived more than a thousand years ago was discovered during excavations of the Tuyuhun burial complex, which have been ongoing since 2019.
The burial is located in the Wuwei area of Gansu Province in Northwest China. According to researchers, a Tang general named Mujun Zhi was buried there. The armor was located next to the coffin of the buried, they, apparently, belonged to him.
To date, the armor, which was originally a sintered mass of metal, has been cleaned of deposits and has passed the initial stage of restoration. Experts managed to divide the find into more than two thousand plates of different sizes.
Their location presented a considerable problem for restorers, since there are no Tang armor in Chinese museums with which to compare those found in the burial. Historical documents and images on the walls of burial complexes helped here.
According to Liu Bingbing, another specialist of the CAON Institute of Archeology, during the Tang Dynasty it was forbidden to place any weapons in burial places unless there was special permission from the imperial court.
However, in this case, historians believe, the deceased belonged to the aristocracy of the Tuyuyhun people, who had their own burial customs, according to which the deceased had to go to another world with personal belongings. Probably the Tang court was forced to take this into account.
About 800 other items were found in the tomb, including scraps of fabric, lacquerware, and a vessel with baijiu – strong alcohol. This find is considered the earliest in China, according to the newspaper.
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