Tue, Dec 14, 2010 - Page 14 News List

China uncovers 2,400-year-old bone soup

A ladle of pork chop soup is displayed at a night market in Taipei on May 8, 2010.

Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese archaeologists believe they have discovered a 2,400-year-old pot of soup, sealed in a bronze cooking vessel and dug up near the ancient capital of Xian, state press said yesterday.

“It’s the first discovery of bone soup in Chinese archaeological history,” the Global Times quoted Liu Daiyun of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology as saying.

“The discovery will play an important role in studying the eating habits and culture of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).”

The soup and bones were discovered in a small, sealed bronze vessel in a tomb being excavated to make way for the extension of the airport in Xian, home to the country’s famed ancient terracotta warriors, the report said.

The liquid and bones in the vessel had turned green due to the oxidation of the bronze, it said. Scientists were expected to conduct further tests to confirm the liquid was indeed soup and to identify the ingredients.

Archaeologists also dug up another bronze pot that contained an odorless liquid, believed to be wine, in the tomb, which could belong to either a member of the land-owning class or a military officer, the report said.

Xian, a city that served as China’s ancient capital for over 1,100 years, is famed for the terracotta army at the burial site of Qin Shihuang, who presided over the unification of China in 221 BC and declared himself the first emperor.









1. bronze adj.

青銅 (qing1 tong2)

例: The bronze goblet is expected to fetch a good price at auction.


2. excavate v.

挖掘 (wa1 jue2)

例: The graves will be excavated next month.


3. oxidation n.

氧化 (yang3 hua4)

例: Oxidation caused the nail to turn rusty.


4. odorless adj.

無臭的 (wu2 chou4 de5)

例: A tasteless, odorless gas had seeped into the building.




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