Store Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Murals uncovered in Ming Dynasty tomb

Stunning murals uncovered in Ming Dynasty tomb

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Archaeologists in China have unearthed a Ming Dynasty tomb decorated with spectacular and finely-detailed paintings, according to a report in Scientists are excited by the finding as it is the first time that murals have been discovered in an ancient tomb in the region.

The 16 th century tomb was discovered accidentally while workers were paving the way for new roads at a construction site in the village of Qunyi in Loudi City, Hunan province, in the south-central region of China. The Cultural Relics Bureau were called in to supervise the site alongside the construction team.

The tomb was constructed with lime and measures 4 meters in length and 1.5 meters in both height and width. It had a large slate as its door.

The newly-discovered tomb in Loudi City, Hunan

The newly-discovered tomb in Loudi City, Hunan. [Photo by Guo Guoquan/Asianewsphoto]

The walls of the tomb were found to be decorated with colourful murals featuring a Buddha, a horse and carriage, a procession of people, and various other figures.

According to Liu Guoping, a descendent of the tomb owner, the family tree shows that the tomb owner is Liu Shiyu, who died in 1568, the second year of the Longqing reign during the Ming Dynasty.

The tomb owner was Liu Shiyu

The tomb owner was Liu Shiyu, who died 446 years ago. [Photo by Guo Guoquan/Asianewsphoto]

The Ming dynasty, which reigned for 276 years from 1368 to 1644 AD, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, has been described as one of the greatest eras of social stability in the history of China. It was also the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. The dominant religious beliefs during the Ming dynasty were the various forms of Chinese folk religion and the Three Teachings – Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

It is unclear what will be done with the beautiful murals, but sadly, photos show excavators carelessly ripping the precious blocks from the ground. Human remains were taken away by researchers.

Further investigations into the meaning of the paintings and the owner are yet to be conducted.

Tomb with Murals

The tomb along with its stunning murals are ripped from the ground with an excavator. [Photo by Guo Guoquan/Asianewsphoto]

Featured image: Figure paintings were found on the wall of an ancient tomb unearthed in Qunyi village, Wanbao town, Loudi city, Hunan province, Oct 14, 2014. [Photo by Guo Guoquan/Asianewsphoto]

By April Holloway



angieblackmon's picture

I really wish sites where handled more carefully! I think it's one thing to be somewhere when a discovery is made, yes of course even I would take out my phone and take some pictures, but that would be followed by a phone call to whoever I think would be the proper people to handle the site...not just a photo opt and then finish tearing it up.

love, light and blessings


aprilholloway's picture


April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

Joanna... Read More

Next article