The Chu Kingdom, centered in today's Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, dates to 201 BCE when the first emperor of the Han Dynasty knighted his younger brother as its first king. Twelve generations of kings followed and they lived, died and were buried in tombs carved into the area's rocky hills. When excavation began in the mid twentieth century,one of the items discovered was a jade sarcophagi burial suit made of thousands of pieces of jade. This exhibit showcases that suit as well as the other tomb contents that serve as testament to the kings' affluence in life and death.
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"Stone weight in the shape of a leopard, Western Han" (206 BCE – 8 CE) Excavated from the tomb of the King of Chu at Shizishan, Xuzhou in 1994 – 1995. Courtesy, China Institute Gallery