Tombs recently uncovered in Hubei province hold what are believed to be the earliest musical instruments yet discovered in China. Among the ancient instruments are a broken Se, a 25-string instrument similar to the guzheng, and the frame of a Bianzhong, bronze chimes.
Zhang Xiang, a researcher with the Hubei provincial institute of cultural relics and archeological research, said that the tombs date back to either the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.-771 B.C.) or the Spring and Autumn Period (771 B.C.- 476 B.C.).
The tombs, located in a graveyard covering over one square kilometer, had been robbed and partially destroyed, Xinhua reports. The archeologists managed to scavenge around 400 pieces of bronze and pottery, among other instruments, including a 4.7-meter-long beam and seven pieces of chime bases.
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