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10 April 2004
Ancient Chinese stringed instruments found

Archaeologists say that they have discovered three Konghous, an ancient plucked stringed instruments, during the excavation of the Yanghai Tombs in Shanshan County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. "The three ancient musical instruments are well preserved and intact," said Zhang Yuzhong, deputy director of the local archaeological institute. "The three musical instruments may be even older than the two Konghous excavated in Zhaluguke tombs dating back 3,000 years to the sixth century in Qiemo County of Xinjiang in the 1990s. The two had been considered the oldest plucked stringed musical instruments ever discovered in the world," said Zhang.
     Konghou is a musical instrument of the Western Regions which included present-day Xinjiang and parts of central Asia. Experts in musical history also believed that the musical instrument originated in central Asia and was introduced through Xinjiang to the central parts of China inhabited mainly by the Han people.

Source: China View (8 April 2004)

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