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In every tomb examined, more than 50% of the objects excavated are made of iron or copper alloys. In more simple burials, these offerings are placed in a specific location, either to the north of the coffin, or in the coffin itself next to the deceased—particularly in the case of weapons or harness pieces. In the two monumental tombs T1 and T20, the metallic objects were found either directly in the burial chamber, or in an intermediate deposit zone in the fill layer.


These vestiges, which were intentionally broken, were analyzed in the laboratory using X-ray photography, optical microscopy, and elementary analysis using scanning electron microscopy and Castaing microprobe were also carried out. Examination of these artifacts provided researchers with information about their constituent materials, as well as information about workmanship. Metallurgic expertise, in association with the conservation and restoration of these objects, continues to furnish scientific elements that add to our knowledge of the Xiongnu's metallurgy. In certain cases, reconstructions are even possible.




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