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Found: A 2,300-Year-Old Sword, Still Shining

A sword from China’s Warring States period was found in a Xinyang tomb.

In Xinyang, China, archaeologists excavating a tomb that dates back more than two millennia found a sword still sheathed in its scabbard. When they carefully pulled the sword out, they found a shining blade in good condition, even after more than 2,300 years.

The sword is thought to date back to China’s Warring States period, which lasted about 250 years, from 475 B.C. to 221 B.C. During this period, the area roughly between Beijing and Shanghai was divided into many smaller states, with seven dominating and one state, Qin, emerging at the end as the ruling power. With all that political turmoil, a sword would have come in handy.