SHIJIAZHUANG-Epitaphs dating back 838 years have been found in a local farmer’s home in Linxi County in north China’s Hebei Province, local authorities said Monday. The ceramic epitaphs which were engraved in a tombstone with a length of 70 cm, a width of 37 cm, and a thickness of 9.5 cm included a total of 720 characters. The content of the epitaphs recorded the family trees of the occupant of the tomb whose name was Guo Cong. The epitaphs also detailed some warfare between the North Song (960-1127) and Jin (1115-1234) while praising Guo’s loyalty and filial piety. The farmer said the epitaphs were found in the foundation of one of his rooms when it was being torn down. Now, the epitaphs are protected in an exhibition hall in the county. Portraying the hardships the tomb occupant’s family encountered, the epitaphs reflect the cruelty of war and the sufferings of the people at that time, according to Wan Wenli from the provincial epigraphy association.

Wan also pointed out that the ceramic epitaphs, which were rarely seen, can provide a significant reference for further research on ceramic techniques from the Jin Dynasty.