New Delhi, Jan 17 : A sword, said to be around 2,500 years old, has been discovered by Chinese archaeologists from an ancient tomb in the eastern province of Jiangxi.
The chief of the excavation team, Xu Changqing, has named the sword the "First Sword under Heaven."
"It is reckoned as the oldest ever excavated in the country," China Daily quoted Changqing, as saying.
The well-preserved 50 centimetre-long sword is black, gold and bright red.
"A dragon pattern was carved on both ends of the scabbard, and the middle part of the scabbard was decorated with two rows of a W-shaped design," Changqing said.
Two other heritage pieces dug out along with the sword from the same tomb have been named "First Mat under Heaven" and "First Fan under Heaven."
At least 1,000 relics have been found in the ancient tomb built in the late Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC) since the excavation work was launched in January last year.
The archaeologists are examining the valuable artefacts, hoping to find out who was buried there and what the relics reveal about the funerary culture of the period.