Second to Whom?

Digs & Discoveries May/June 2013


Over the past three years, archaeologists working at an ancient necropolis outside the city of Suizhou in southern China’s Sichuan Province have excavated 65 tombs. But according to excavation director Huang Fengchun of the Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, tomb 18 in particular is “quite special.” The shape of the tomb resembles the ancient form of the Chinese character “Ya,” which means “second” or “inferior.” The quality of the grave goods found in the tomb, including numerous precious bronze vessels, indicates it likely belonged to a state official of the eastern Zhou Dynasty (770–256 B.C.). But exactly what or whom he was second or inferior to is unknown. Perhaps the answer lies in a 66th tomb.

  • Artifacts May/June 2013


    Ceramic figurines were part of a cache of objects found at an Iron Age temple uncovered at the site of Tel Motza outside Jerusalem

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    (Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
  • Around the World May/June 2013


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  • Digs & Discoveries May/June 2013

    Albanian Fresco Fiasco

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    (Courtesy Auron Tare)
  • Features May/June 2013

    On the Trail of the Mimbres

    Archaeologists are tracking the disappearance of a remarkable type of pottery to rewrite the story of a culture’s decline

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    (© President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, [24-15-10/94603 + 60740377])