21 April 2012
Last updated at 10:30
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has announced that from May it is hosting the largest exhibition of ancient royal treasures to travel outside of China. More than 350 objects will be on display, including a jade burial armour suit which measures 175cm by 68cm (5ft 8in by 2ft 2in).
The exhibition will also compare the tombs of two rival power factions, the Han imperial family in north China and the Kingdom of Nanyue in the south, 2,000 years ago. Objects from these tombs, like this jade coffin from Shizishan, have never been displayed together before.
Dr James Lin, curator of the exhibition, said: "It is immensely exciting to compare these unique discoveries from two rival kingdoms for the first time. It shows how the second king of Nanyue's funerary splendour continued to be styled on that of the Han."
The exhibition aims to give visitors a sense of what it would be like to walk through the tombs, where they would be met by tomb guardians protecting the burial chambers of the kings.
Dr Timothy Potts, the director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, said: "The spectacular objects in this exhibition bring to Cambridge the superb goldworks, jades and other exquisitely crafted offerings the kings chose to be buried with on their journey to the afterlife."
The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China runs at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge from 5 May to 11 November 2012. The exhibition is part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.