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Eco-friendly lanterns of Han Dynasty unearthed in Jiangxi

Updated: Nov 13,2015 11:14 AM

The world’s first eco-friendly lantern was invented in China more than 2,000 years ago! That’s the suggestion of a recent archaeological find in the tomb of “Haihunhou” in Jiangxi province, a deposed emperor of the Western Han Dynasty.

Two bronze lanterns were unearthed in Haihunhou Cemetery. This one is shaped like a wide goose holding a fish — both of which are considered auspicious symbols. The unit was designed to let smoke go through the wide goose’s neck and then dissolve in water contained at the base of the lantern.

This could be the world’s first “clean” lamp.

Archaeologists believe the main tomb at Haihunhou Cemetery is that of Liu He, grandson of Emperor Wu, the most famed ruler of China’s Han Dynasty, which ran from 206 BC to 24 AD. Liu was given the title “Haihunhou” — or “Marquis of Haihun” — after he was deposed as emperor after only 27 days, apparently for lack of talent and morals.

In all, the Haihunhou Cemetery has eight tombs and a chariot burial site with walls that stretch for almost 900 meters.

Jiangxi’s cultural department is continuing to excavate the site and study its finds.