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Unveiling the History of the South
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  • A visitor dressed in hanfu, a traditional Chinese clothing style, takes a photo of the exhibits
  • A pottery vessel and a spoon
  • The jade burial suit is one of the most striking artifacts at the exhibition
  • Pottery animal figurines
  • A pottery ship model dating back some 2,000 years

Made up of 2,291 pieces of jade linked with silk thread, the jade burial suit discovered while excavating the tomb of a local ruler is the earliest of its kind ever found in China. Created for his burial over 2,100 years ago, the 1.73-meter garment is evidence of the luxurious burial traditions in the Nanyue Kingdom, which covers present-day Guangdong Province as well as other regions including the Hainan Island and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

This precious relic is currently on display at an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. The exhibition, which opened on August 10, includes over 330 artifacts unearthed from Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC-AD 220) archaeological sites in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong.

In addition to the extravagance of ancient upper classes, the exhibition gives visitors an understanding of how ordinary people lived and worked at the time. The many pieces of animal-shaped pottery show the kinds of livestock and poultry that were raised.

(Text and Photos by Wei Yao)

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson

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