Tuesday, November 27, 2012

D'Arcy Todd and a Shaanxi Tomb

Today I will definitely touch on two points. The 2,000 year old tomb found in Shaanxi province and research done by the National Army Museum. 

I asked researchers at the National Army Museum and the Royal Artillery Museum to check their records to see if a D’Arcy Todd (see my November 16, 2012 post) was listed in the British Army rolls about 1812 and operating in Persia.  Alastair Massie of the National Army Museum kindly responded saying that in both British and Indian army lists for active officers in 1812, he did not find a D’Arcy Todd.  It seems to both he and myself that the Benaki Museum's reference to a D’Arcy Todd receiving a Persian seal in 1812 is incorrect. More likely the seal was awarded to Elliott D’Arcy Todd in the mid 19th century. I’ll have to let them know.

In other news, a 2,000 year old tomb with 20 relics was recently discovered in Fengxiang county, Shaanxi province, China. The tomb was discovered during railway construction. The site was 7 meters deep (about 23 feet) and divided into four rooms containing weapons, pottery, copper coins and a bronze mirror. The coffins and skeletons were destroyed but researchers believe the tomb had been built for a general of the Western Han dynasty dating between 206BC and 24 AD. Dating was based on the tomb characteristics and the objects found. 

A staff member of the Chinese Institute of Archaeology informed me that the tomb held three iron-swords with lengths of 0.8m, 1.13m and 1.15m. There was also one set of armor but no further information was available. He also provided two interesting photos.

Sword found in Shaanxi tomb

Shield found in Shaanxi tomb

The Han period of China is considered China’s golden age and many Chinese trace their heritage back to the Han. Also, the sword pictured matches the general outline of swords made during the Han period.

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