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"Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb"

 

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb

"Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb" permanent exhibition introduces different aspects of the Han Tomb, including its discovery, structure and burial objects. These aspects show great similarities as compared to other Han tombs found in South China, which prove that early Chinese civilisation has spread to Hong Kong 2,000 years ago.

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb is the only Eastern Han brick tomb ever found in Hong Kong. It was accidentally discovered in 1955 during the construction of the Lei Cheng Uk Resettlement Estate. The Han Tomb is a cross-shaped brick structure with four chambers - Front Chamber, Rear Chamber, Left Side Chamber and Right Side Chamber - and an Entrance Passage. The Front Chamber has a domed roof while the other chambers are barrel vaulted. This was a common design among Eastern Han tombs. Most bricks (average size 40x20x5cm) had plain surfaces but some bore inscriptions and decorations. Over 10 kinds of decorations were noted, most being geometric patterns comprising lozenges and wheel shapes. Simplified animal images were also found.

Archaeologists unearthed fifty-eight burial objects from the Han Tomb. The fifity pottery objects can be categorised into cooking vessels, food vessels, storage vessels and models. The eight bronze objects include a basin, a mirror, a bell and two bowls. No human skeletal remains were found.

There is strong evidence dating the tomb to the Eastern Han period (AD 25-220). Its cross-shaped structure and the variety and styles of its burial objects are similar to other Eastern Han tombs in South China. The three-leg pottery ding tripod, wine warmer, kui food container and zhi wine container were popular daily wares while the pottery models comprising a house, a granary, a well and a stove were customary burial objects of the period. The inscriptions Panyu on the bricks suggest further confirmation.

The Han Tomb does not only reflect the life of people in the Han dynasty, but also proves that Hong Kong was under the administration of Panyu County during Han times.