Archaeologists have discovered nearly 200 boat-shaped coffins dating from between the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
They found the coffins after digging an area the size of two football fields in Shuangyuan village in Dawang town, Qingbaijiang district of Chengdu.
Lying in the centre of the area was the largest coffin buried more than 2m below the ground. The coffin was carved out of a tree and sealed with mud.
A large amount of bronze ware was found in the coffins, including cicadas, tigers and dragons, said Wang Tianyou, an archaeologist with the Chengdu Cultural Relic Archaeology and Research Institute.
In 2000, archeologists from his institute found lots of boat-shaped coffins in the Commercial Street in downtown Chengdu. The coffins are believed to belong to the kings of Shu during the Warring States Period. Shu was the ancient name of Sichuan.
According to Zhu Zhangyi, an archaeologist and deputy chief of the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, boat-shaped coffins were very popular in Sichuan during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.