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Ref ID: 22392
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Rubin Han,
Ning Liu,
Bingkun Xu,
Title: Metallographic study of 27 metallic artifacts unearthed from two sarcophagus tombs at Beipiao, Liaoning Province
Date: 2015
Source: Metals and civilizations
Place of Publication: Bangalore, India
Publisher: National Institute of Advanced Studies
Notes: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys (BUMA VII)
Abstract: In 1965,two sarcophagus tombs found in Baipiao (北票), Liaoning province, were excavated. According to the historical records (晋书) and from the seals unearthed from them archaeologists believe that these were double burials, for husband and wife, of the minister of war (大司马). This is the first time that an important tomb clearly dated to the northern Yan period (4th century -5th century AD) has been excavated. The two unearthed tombs have rich finds. They have been studied in close cooperation with archaeologists to ascertain the manufacturing technology of the metal artifacts excavated from the tombs and compared with the vast majority of metal artifacts from tombs in the Liaoning Provincial Museum collections warehouse, in order to fully reveal useful information on metal artifacts. A small amount of metal from the tomb could be sampled for study. Great attention was paid to the ferrous artifacts. Most of them were used habitually in every day life. We took a limited number of samples: 27 metallic artifacts, including 5 bronze vessels, 5 iron tools, 5 iron weapons, 4 iron objects and 2 iron plates, 3 silver and 1 gold pieces, a belt buckle and belt hook with gilding, and 1 fragmented glass bead. The 27 metallic objects excavated from the Fengsufu tombs show that the quality of the 5 bronzes was good. For the production of high tin bronze objects quenching was employed. 16 iron and steel samples were taken from pig iron, decarburized steel in solid state, puddling steel, sandwiched steel, quenched steel products, and from a forged iron mirror. Mercury gilt bronze belts, silver-copper and gold-silver alloys, and imported glass ware from the West were identified. In particular a pair of horse stirrups with a wooden core covered with gilt copper, has been for the first time recovered from an excavation. These results confirm that the making and using of metal is characteristic for this culture and technology, and provide new information on the development of economy and society of the Northern Dynasty in 4th-5th century.
Date Created: 4/11/2016
Editors: Srinivasam, Sharada
Ranganathan, Srinivasa
Giumlia-Mair, Alessandra
Page Start: 150
Page End: 161