More than 2,000 artifacts were recovered from the sites, including a bronze sword. In December 1965, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the ruins of Jinan, an ancient capital of Chu, a casket was discovered at Wangshan site #1.
Inside it, a human skeleton and an ornate bronze sword were discovered.
The sword was found sheathed in a wooden scabbard finished in black lacquer. The scabbard had an almost air-tight fit with the sword body.
Unsheathing the sword revealed an untarnished blade, despite the tomb being soaked in underground water for over 2,000 years.
Initial analysis of the text deciphered six of the characters, “King of Yue” and “made this sword for [his] personal use”. The remaining two characters were probably the name of this King of Yue.
From the sword’s origin in 510 BC to its demise at the hands of Chu in 334 BC, nine kings ruled Yue, including Goujian, Lu Cheng, Bu Shou, Zhu Gou, and others.
After more than two months, the experts started to form a consensus that the original owner of the sword was Goujian, the King of Yue made famous by his perseverance in time of hardship. So the entirety of the text reads “[Belonging to] King Goujian of Yue, made for [his] personal use”