More on the discovery of Cao Cao's tomb





Shuo Cao Cao, Cao Cao jiu dao, says a Chinese proverb. It means: "Speak of Cao Cao, and Cao Cao will be there."

It's the equivalent of the English phrase "speak of the devil."

More than 1,700 years after his death, Cao Cao, warlord and ruler of northern China during the Three Kingdoms period, has indeed appeared, according to China Daily.

According to the report, Chinese archaeologists might have found the body of the legendary general in a 8,000 square foot tomb complex.

Unearthed in Xigaoxue village near the ancient capital of Anyang in central China's Henan Province, the tomb featured a 130-foot passage leading to an underground chamber.

In the chamber lay the remains of three individuals: a man aged about 60 and two women, one in her 50s and the other between 20 and 25 years.

The archaeologists believe the male was Cao, who died at age 65 in 220, the elder woman his empress, who died in 230, and the younger woman her servant.

A frequent character in Peking opera, recently portrayed in John Woo's blockbusters "Red Cliff" and "Red Cliff 2," Cao Cao (155–220) was a poet and a military genius. He unified much of northern China after the collapse of the Han dynasty.

Indeed, his adventures are recorded in one of the classics of Chinese literature, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, while his few remaining poems are still taught in schools throughout China.

Ever since the tomb was first excavated in December last year, more than 250 relics have been unearthed. They include pottery and objects made of gold and silver.

Among the various items, the researchers found several stone paintings depicting social life during Cao's time, stone tablets featuring inscriptions of sacrificial objects, and Cao's personal belongings.

"Based on what we've got, we can tell for sure that the mausoleum belongs to Cao Cao," Guan Qiang, deputy director of the department of cultural heritage conservation at the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), told a press meeting in Beijing.

Furnished austerely, the burial matches historical accounts, which reveal that the legendary ruler wanted a simple tomb on "on non-arable highland" with "no treasures of gold and jade in it."

According to archaeologist Liu Qingzhu, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the strongest Cao connection is engraved in several stone tablets. Seized from people who had apparently stolen them from the tomb, the tablets carried the inscription "King Wu of Wei", Cao's posthumous title.

"No one would or could have so many relics inscribed with 'Cao' posthumous reference in the tomb unless it was Cao's," Liu Qingzhu told China Daily




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