A team of archaeologists from Nanjing Museum recently dug up a massive mausoleum, presumably belonging to Liu Fei, a Chinese king who died in 128 B.C.
The mausoleum, although plundered, held a wealth of treasures including artifacts made of gold, silver, bronze and jade. Three main tombs were also uncovered, along with 11 attendant tombs, two pits for chariots, two pits for weapons and a wall that was originally around 1,608 feet long on each of its sides.
Much like the Egyptians, the Chinese would bury their leaders with plenty of resources for the afterlife. According to the findings in Liu Fei's tomb, the king obviously lived a life of luxury.
"He built palaces and observation towers and invited to his court all the local heroes and strong men from everywhere around," said historian Sima Qian (145-86 B.C.), as translated by Burton Watson. "His way of life was marked by extreme arrogance and luxury."
Liu Fei's tomb contains a series of halls and smaller rooms. After searching through these areas, archaeologists discovered many weapons, lamps, chariot models and musical instruments.
More than 10,000 banliang coins were also left with him, so that Liu Fei was financially secure in the afterlife. Banliang coins are square coins with a hole in the middle that shortly fell out of use after 210 B.C.
Of course, should Liu Fei find himself hungry after death, he had a full kitchen at his disposal within the tomb with a variety of cauldrons, steamers, wine cups and pitchers.
Unfortunately, Liu Fei's body was long gone by the time the archaeologists discovered his burial site. The team, however, found pieces of jade near the burial site, suggesting that his damaged coffin was also made with luxury in mind.
A second tomb within the mausoleum, though, held a rarity: a jade coffin. Although archaeologists have no idea who this belonged to, it was evidently created for someone with a high status. It, too, suffered from looting, but the coffin remained intact, making it the first undamaged item of its kind ever discovered in China.
The team found a third tomb with artifacts inside engraved with the name "Nao." Liu Fei had a much-loved consort with that name, so archaeologists believe this tomb belonged to someone related to her.
There are also a series of 11 other tombs for the king's attendants. During one point in China's history, servants were killed after their masters died, but by the time Liu Fei came to power, this practice was no longer common. The people buried in the mausoleum probably died some time later.