updated 10/18/2005 12:03:05 PM ET 2005-10-18T16:03:05

Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,700-year-old complex of tombs in eastern China that contain bronze mirrors, porcelains and ancient money, a news report said Tuesday.

The tombs near the port city of Ningbo were uncovered by a forklift operator working at a construction site, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The report didn't say who was buried in the tombs or how many bodies had been found.

Inscriptions in the tombs indicate they were built in the year 256, the report said, citing Ding Youfu, a member of the archaeological team.

He said they were the region's best-preserved tombs.

"Figures embodying fish, beasts, dragons, phoenixes and money can be seen in the wall of the grave," Ding said. "They are incredibly refined and clearcut."

Archaeologists plan to excavate an area of 50,000 square feet around the main tomb and expect to find at least five other tombs, said Xie Guoqi, another member of the team.

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