A Chinese sword removed from its scabbard for the first time in more than 2,000 years was so well-preserved it was still shiny.
Archaeologists discovered the ancient weapon, believed to be around 2,300 years old, in a tomb among the ruins of Chengyang City in central China.
When they unsheathed the large blade from its muddied cover, they found it had not oxidised but was still sharp, shiny and in near-perfect condition.
The team from Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology posted pictures and a video of the sword on Chinese social network Weibo.
The artefact is believed to be from China’s Warring States period, from around 475 to 221 BC, when the Zhou Dynasty region was divided between eight states which often saw fierce fighting.
The sword, which had been buried inside a wooden coffin next to its owner, had been preserved because ancient tombs in the area are usually humid and sealed off from the outside, team leader Wu Zhijiang told the Daily Mail.
The video clip, taken last week after the sword was discovered on 30 December, has been widely shared online and broadcast by Chinese media.
In a Weibo post, the archaeologists said they hoped those reading would find 2017 as “radiant” and “invincible” as the glittering sword.
The owner of the tomb in the city in the ancient Chu kingdom, located 25km north of Xinyang city in Henan Province, has not yet been identified.
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