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Hubei Provincial Museum

Hubei Provincial Museum, located in the East Lake, is the best Museum in the central part of China, displaying the relics unearthed in the Hubei, mostly ancient Chu State, including some of the world's most exciting recent archaeological discoveries.

Hubei Provincial Museum was established in 1953. More than 200,000 pieces of historic relics are well preserved here, including 645 first class cultural relics and 16 national treasures.

The relics in the Hubei Provincial Museum mainly from the Zenghouyi Tomb, just outside of Suizhou City excavated in 1978. Dating from around 433 BC, the tomb was that of Marquis Yi of the state of Zeng, one of the hosts of lesser states during the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). More than 15,000 relics were excavated from the tomb including bronze ritual vessels and weapons, bamboo, lacquer, musical instruments, gold, and jade.

Most important in the relics excavated from Zenghouyi Tomb is a complete set of 65 ritual bell of different sizes. The biggest bell is 152cm high and 204kg and the smallest 20cm long and 3kg. The Niu Bell on the upper layer, 19 pieces, were used to producing clear tones, thirty-three pieces of Yong Bell on the middle layer for melody and twelve pieces of Yong Bell on the lower layer for accompanying. When struck, they emit a perfect 122-tone system covering five octaves. Each bell also has two tones depending on where it is struck. This set of bell of reflected achievements in multiple fields: music, study of musical pitch, acoustics and metallurgy. It is one of the major archaeological discoveries in the 20th century.

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