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Ceremonial chamber - Musical Instruments


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This is the ceremonial chamber, the room where ancestor worship ceremonies would take place. In life it was very important to show your ancestors proper respect by performing ancestor rituals. When you were dead it was expected that you would continue making these rituals in the afterlife.

These instruments have been buried in the tomb to be used in future rituals. Music played a very important role in court life and ritual ceremonies in Ancient China. The sound of bells in particular was supposed to help meditation and prayer.

The Marquis Yi of Zeng, who was buried in around 433 B.C. was buried with over 124 musical instruments, including flutes, panpipes, drums, mouth organs and a set of 64 bells. In another chamber of his tomb they found a number of female attendants who were probably members of his orchestra.

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