July 07, 2009 12:09
Workers in northern China building water infrastructure recently uncovered a 1,400-year-old royal tomb containing ancient wall paintings. The tomb belonged to Gao Xiaoxu, the male heir of an emperor during the Qi Dynasty. The detailed frescoes of honor guard officials found inside are thought to date from 550-577 AD.
However, the more than 1,000 years that have passed have taken its toll on the condition of the paintings. Sun Jinghua of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology says that the discovery needs the full attention of restoration specialists. Fragments will be secured and the wall will be removed to a location off-site for further study.
The site is located in an area that contains 134 tombs mostly from the royal family of the Northern Dynasties which ruled from 368-581 AD.
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