A golden burial mask from about 3,000 years ago was discovered in China

Prior to this discovery, very few gold objects had been found at Shang Dynasty sites. And unlike the mask found in Sanxingdoi, this mask covered the face completely, ensuring that the wearer’s spirit remained intact. The Shangcheng tombs also yielded about 200 important artifacts, including gold leaf and turquoise inlaid plaques, shell coins, and bronze and jade weapons. The latest discovery raises more questions about ancient Chinese culture, including whether the mask was created in Shangcheng or whether it arrived there through trade.

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One of the earliest recorded ruling dynasties in China supported by archaeological evidence, the Shang Dynasty, centered around the Yellow River and ushered in China’s Bronze Age. Along with many artistic, scientific, technological and philosophical inventions and innovations, this period is characterized by a flourishing of graves and burial objects.

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