The discovery was made in Datong in the Shaanxi province, where 58 tombs belonging to the middle and late Tang dynasty were discovered during construction works.

The Tang dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from AD 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between AD 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.

The cemetery consists of small and medium-sized shaft-type tombs, which are rectangular, trapezoidal or irregular in shape, while some are concave shaped where the deceased's coffin would be placed.

In two of the tombs are stone epitaphs, dated to AD 795 and AD 810, which are decorated with carvings ringed with the twelve symbols of the Chinese zodiac.

Excavations have revealed over 300 artefacts, including tower-shaped pots, numerous bronze mirrors, and several yellow and white-glazed jugs, pots and bowls. The mirrors have become discoloured over the centuries and are mainly circular in design, with some examples having a floral form.

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