Treasures of Chinese emperor-for-a-month displayed in NY
2017-04-08 21:45 GMT+811002km to Beijing
Nine treasures unearthed from the tomb of an ancient Chinese marquis have been put on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, 18 months after the discovery was made public.
Three gold ingots in the shape of a horseshoe, which symbolize imperial superiority, and a set of six bronze bells are among 160 Chinese items from 32 Chinese museums on display at "Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC- 220 AD)" from April 3 to July 16.
Western Han horse hoof-shaped gold ingots unearthed from the tomb of Marquis of Haihun /VCG Photo
The nine pieces, estimated to be worth 9 million US dollars, belong to the Jiangxi provincial institute of cultural relics and archeology.
"The three ingots are about the same size, but each is engraved with a different character," said Xu Changqing, head of the institute. The characters translate into "upper," "middle" and "lower" in modern Chinese, he said.
The bronze bells feature gold and silver inlays and delicate graphics, he said.
Gilded bronze bells unearthed from the tomb of Marquis of Haihun /VCG Photo
The items were among over 10,000 artifacts excavated from the extravagant tomb of the Marquis of Haihun near Nanchang, the provincial capital of Jiangxi. The tomb dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). Researchers began exploring the tomb in 2011, but large-scale excavations only began in November 2015.
The tomb belongs to Liu He, an emperor who was dethroned after 27 days on the throne due to incompetence.
Originally King (Prince) of Changyi, Liu He was installed by the powerful minister Huo Guang as emperor in 74 BC, but deposed only 27 days later, and omitted from the official list of emperors.
He lost his original kingdom of Changyi, and was demoted to the rank of marquis. He was given the new fief of Haihun in modern Jiangxi Province.