2,000-year-old beef found in NW China

2,000-year-old beef found in NW China Beijing: Chinese archaeologists have said that a black substance found in an ancient tomb in northwest China's Shaanxi Province is a 2,000-year-old portion of beef.

"After months of high-tech analysis scientists confirmed the substance's makeup," Hu Songmei, a paleontologist from the provincial archaeological institute said.

The tomb was discovered during a two-year excavation project conducted by the institute that began in 2009 in the Wanli village in the provincial capital of Xi'an.

The beef, most of which had been carbonised, is the earliest beef product discovered in China, state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.

The beef was discovered two years ago in a bronze pot placed in a tomb and is believed to date back to the Warring States Period (475 BC - 221 BC), she said.

Hu said the beef did not shrink, proving that it had been dried before being put into the pot.