Beijing: Chinese archaeologists have discovered a rare bronze head with two faces dating back more than 3,000 years in a tomb complex in central China`s Hubei Province.
The sculpture featuring huge eyes, protruding cheekbones and horns was unearthed from the Yejiashan Graveyard in the city of Suizhou.
The graveyard consists of a cluster of tombs believed to have belonged to nobles during the early Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC).
"The sculpture was found positioned over the head of the owner of tomb M111, suggesting that it was of some significance at the time," said Zhang Changping, a history professor at Wuhan University.
"It is the first time that such a sculpture has been discovered from the Western Zhou Dynasty," said archaeologist Li Boqian from Peking University, who believes that item could be a patron God.
The shape and design of the sculpture are similar to masks uncovered from the Sanxingdui Ruins in southwest China`s Sichuan Province, although archaeologists said it more closely resembles another two-faced sculpture found in 1989 in a Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) tomb in east China`s Jiangxi Province, state run Xinhua news agency reported.
First discovered in 2011, the Yejiashan Graveyard was inscribed among China`s Top 10 Archeological Findings that year.
The latest excavation has found the dynasty`s first painted bronze and a tomb burying a set of 19 dings (cooking vessels) and 12 guis (food containers) that surpassed the burial norms for a king.