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Beijing Western Zhou Yan State Capital Site Museum
Hit: 2006-7-25 0:27:40

Western Zhou Yan State Capital Site Museum is located at Liulihe Shang (Shang dynasty°™1600-1100BC) and Zhou site (Zhou dynasty 1100-221BC), which is a national key cultural heritage protection site. After more than 20 years' excavation, which started in the 1960s, the city cite has been discovered and the tombs of the Yan's nobles uncovered. Some bronze wares with the inscriptions of Yan Marquis were also unearthed there; consequently it is a confirmed site of the Capital of Yan, an important state in the north during the Western Zhou period (1100-771 BC). These discoveries are evidence of the earliest existence of a town at the site of modern Beijing 3,000 years ago.

In 1993, in order to protect and exhibit the site, the municipal government decided to build a museum. Completed and opened to the public in August of 1995, the Western Zhou Yan State Capital Site Museum is a specialized archeology museum characterized by a combination of cultural site and cultural relics exhibition. The museum occupies an area of 27 mu (18,000 m2); the area of exhibition building is 3,000 m2 .

The exhibition is divided into eight units, which mostly introduce the city walls of the Yan capital and the cultural relics unearthed from the tombs of Yan nobles. The main cultural relics displayed here include: two sets of tombs preserved in their original places, several chariot pits where slaves were buried alive; some bronze ware unearthed from tombs of Yan nobles, of which the violet tripod caldron (the largest one of all bronze wares) and Boju caldron are the most important; the lacquerware such as Gu (type of goblet) and Dou (type of standing cup), the only ones of early Western Zhou which could be restored to their original condition; and a lot of exquisite pottery, jades, stone and agate vessels. These rare art treasures represent the creative abilities of the ancient Chinese people and their significant contributions to world civilization.

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