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Beautiful 2,000-year-old lanterns found in China – excavated from an ancient tomb

Ian Harvey
Photo credit: Xinhua
Photo credit: Xinhua

Researchers in Nanchang in China’s Juangxi Province have found two ancient bronze lamps dating back 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD), a truly astounding find.

The gorgeous, lamps come with adjustable lighting, and are believed to be extremely Eco-friendly. They were excavated from an ancient tomb that belonged to the wealthy nobleman Lui He, grandchild of Emperor Wu of Han, the most famous ruler of that period.

Made of solid bronze, the lamps are shaped like geese and have a wonderful elegance to them.reports The People’s Daily Online.

Kerosene or wax would have been placed on the holder on top of the body. Specialists theorize that the body would have been occupied with water to dissolve some fumes and soot.

This would make the lamp entirely eco-friendly, as it produced no smoke. The geese hold fish in mouths, which function not only as a funnel and a wind shield, but can also adjust the brightness of light.

It would have taken amazing technical skill to craft such astoundingly beautiful pieces, and they would undoubtedly have cost a small fortune.

Alongside the goose lamps, researchers have found a host of other treasures. The tomb contained two million copper coins inscribed Chinese characters and symbols, and they have a distinctive squared hole in the middle.

It is speculated that people would have threaded a length of rope or string through these holes to make them more convenient to carry. Bronze animal statues and pots were also discovered.

These findings come after five years of excavations on the site, which contains a chariot burial site and eight tombs.

This is not the first time that goose-shaped lanterns such as these have been found in China.

Read another interesting story from our archeology files: 3,000-year-old ball of thread discovered in the UK

In 2014, excavation work on the tomb of Liu Fei in the eastern province of Jiangsu revealed goose lamps, as well as deer shaped lamps and other, elaborate 5-branched lamps.