A strip of Chinese jerky survives 2,000 years in a tomb.
Xi’an, China, most famous for its Terracotta Army at the Qin Shi Huang tomb site, continues to produce remarkable finds – right down to the beef. As part of ongoing archaeological projects in the Xi’an area the, tomb was uncovered two years ago and carefully investigated.
Found in a bronze pot, the beef had completely carbonized, essentially turning to black rock. But at the time of burial the salted meat would have been edible. The tomb is significant for its placement in Chinese history, believed to date back to the Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC), which led to the unification of China under Emperor Qin.
While Xi’an holds cultural significance for China as far back at the 11th century BCE, when it was a political and cultural capital under the Zhou Dynasty, its roots reach deep into prehistory.
In the 1950’s a Neolithic village was discovered near Xi’an and dated to 6,500 years old. But the real tour-stopper is the Lantian Man, discovered nearby in 1963, and said to be at least 500,000 years old.
As the Chinese continue to dig (literally) into the roots of their civilization, the world shares in their fascination. This week, we’re thinking about what’s on the menu and are glad that the beef didn’t become a midnight snack for tomb robbers in the ancient past.
Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.
3 common complaints about Chinese food excavated from tombs:
- The beef is hard as a rock!
- The wontons turn to dust when you try to bite into them.
- No MSG because it hadn’t been invented yet 😦
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
Learn more about what makes this writer tick. Read my author interview at PaperBackSwap.com!
- Ancient Future Shock (chriseverheart.com)
- The Secret Tomb of China’s 1st Emperor: Will We Ever See Inside? (livescience.com)
- Terracotta Army and Tea – Xi’an, China (travelpod.com)
- Xi’an – Xi’an, China (travelpod.com)
- Gallery: Ancient Chinese Warriors Protect Secret Tomb (livescience.com)