The ruins of Jinan are situated about 20km/12 miles to the north-west of Shashi on the southern slopes of the Jishan. Jinan, capital of the Chu empire from 689-278 b.c. was the largest city in China at that time.
Archaeological excavations have shown that the city had a rectangular ground plan and massive defence walls, which were up to 7m/22ft high and 4.5km/3 miles long (east-west) and 3.5km/2 miles long (north-south), covering a total area of 16sq.km/6sq. miles. In the south-eastern section of the city the foundations of a building were discovered (60m/65yd long and 14m/15yd wide) which once formed part of the imperial palace.
The city district of Fenghuangshan was transformed into a large graveyard during Qin and Han rule (221 b.c.-a.d. 206). In addition to a 2000 year old mummy, numerous objects of immeasurable worth were discovered here, including bamboo strips with inscriptions and decorated ceramic crockery.
Following the other discoveries three necropolises from the Chu dynasty were found outside the defence walls with over 700 large tombs of noble families. Around the city walls thousands of Chu graves were also discovered.