Researchers discovered a 2400-year-old pit containing remains of horses and remains of vehicles believed to belong to a member of an ancient royal family in China.
The pit is one of a group of tombs believed to contain the remains of the noble family in Zheng, which ruled the area sporadically between 770 and 221 BC.
The cemetery was found in the surrounding area where 18 large holes, containing horses and vehicles and more than 3,000 tombs, were found.
Archaeologists have found the discovery near the city of Xincheng in central China’s Henan Province. Four vehicles and skeletons have been found for more than 90 horses in the hole since February.
The crater is the largest among the newly found graves, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
“Since the main shrine has looted and no written records have been found yet, it is difficult to identify the tombstone,” said expert and excavation leader Ma Junke of the Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archeology of the province.
It is believed that more than 100 horses were buried in the pit, and a number of bronze coins were also found.
“These details reveal the techniques and productive methods used at the time, as well as the social status of the family and funeral rituals in that period of time,” experts say.
Although the tomb is not yet identified, experts believe that three of the vehicles were for daily use by Zheng and his wife.
The horses are believed to have been killed before they were placed in the hole next to the king’s tomb, and the vehicles were then dismantled.