Chinese Archaeologists May Have Found the Secret Tomb of a Legendary Warlord

Archaeologists at the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology believe they have uncovered the body of China’s fabled warlord, Cao Cao, in a massive burial site found in Henan’s Anyang county.

The discovery of the massive burial site was first announced back in 2009 where many archaeologists believe that this could be the tomb where Cao Cao was buried, according to Beijing News and translated by Shanghaiist.

Image via Shanghaiist

Cao Cao, who is also known by his common name Mengde (155 – 220), was a politician and a general during the late Han Dynasty that lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. Depictions of Cao Cao in other literature, particularly in the Chinese novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” portray him as a ruthless ruler and a military genius.

However, many are expressing their skepticism over the news.

During the dig conducted in 2016, which lasted until 2017, archaeologists discovered a body of a man estimated to be in his 60s. The discovery only made its way to the public recently, leading researches to believe that it could be the remains of Coa Cao.

Image via China Daily

In the excavation of the burial site, researchers found the tomb of Cao Cao beside two female bodies. One of the bodies is estimated to be in her 50s while the other is said to be in her 20s.

At first, scientists thought that the woman in her 50s could be Lady Bian, the wife of Cao Cao. However, some argued that it’s not her, considering that the mother of Cao Ang, the warlord’s eldest son, and Cao Pi, his second son, lived up to the age of 70.

Another interesting bit of information researchers found in the tomb is that some of the part of the burial site appears to have been partially destroyed. Interestingly enough, there seems to be a lack of rubble in the damaged area.

This has led scientists to believe that the warlord’s second son, Cao Pi, may have had second thoughts about his father’s wish about marking his grave, and kept it a secret to prevent being raided by grave robbers.

Image via China Daily

Legend has it that Cao Cao ordered his family and other members of his circle to never put a marker on his grave. To make it even harder to locate his burial ground, the warlord ordered his people to make 72 decoy tombs and place them in 72 different locations around the country.

Cao Pi initially disobeyed his father’s order to place decoy tombs, but later on he reportedly had a change of heart and took down the monuments to conceal Cao Cao’s mausoleum.

Featured image (left) via China Daily | (right) via Shanghaiist

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