added by archaeologs [Sui-hsien]. district in Hubei province, China. A rich burial of the late 5th century bc excavated at Sui Xian Leigudun in 1978 is identified by inscribed bronzes found in it as the tomb of one Marquis Yi of the little-known state of Zeng. A dated inscribed bell contributed to the funerary goods by King Hui of Chu allows the tomb to be dated in or near 433 bc and suggests a close relationship between Zeng and the far more important state of Chu. The furnishings of the tomb can probably be taken to represent Chu material culture; for splendour they are so far unmatched among Chu burials or indeed anywhere else in Bronze Age China. The four timber-built compartments of the tomb contained jades, weapons, suits of leather armour, unique cast gold vessels, inscribed bamboo slips, surpassingly fine lacquers (musical instruments, coffins, furniture, vessels), and some ten tonnes of bronze artefacts. The marquis was buried in two nested lacquer coffins held in a 3200-kg bronze frame; 21 single coffins contained female attendants. Among the bronzes are a few highly accomplished lost-wax (cire perdue) castings (see Xiasi) and the largest matched set of bells yet discovered, a total of 64, nearly all bearing inscriptions concerning musical scales. The bells and many of the other bronzes are decorated in a version of the Huai style of such extraordinary artistic quality as to seem like an aberration in the generally placid history of that style. A less rich tomb of about the same date as the Marquis Yi’s has recently been discovered 100 metres to the west of it.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983