Archaeologists believe they have found the body of legendary warlord Cao Cao
Speak of the devil!
Chinese archaeologists believe that they have found the remains of perhaps China’s most legendary warlord.
Inside a tomb in a massive mausoleum complex, the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology say that they have discovered the, mostly intact, body of Cao Cao.
For those who are not fans of ancient Chinese history — or Dynasty Warriors — Cao Cao (155–220 CE) was a politician and general of the late Han dynasty, who later became immortalized in the great Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, where he was portrayed as a ruthless ruler but a brilliant tactician.
Back in 2009, archaeologists first reported that they had discovered a large burial site in Henan’s Anyang county, which they believed to hold the remains of Cao Cao, an announcement that was met with a great deal of skepticism.
Digs that were carried out in 2016 and 2017, but only recently came to light, turned up the body of a man estimated to be in his sixties, which experts have now identified as Cao Cao himself, the Beijing News reports.
The alleged body of Cao Cao was found interred beside the bodies of two women, one in her fifties, the other in her twenties. The women have not been identified, but are thought to possibly be the mothers of two of Cao Cao’s children, his eldest son Cao Ang, who died in battle, and Cao Pi, his second son who would become the first emperor of the state of Cao Wei.
However, the mother of Cao Pi, Lady Bian, is said to have lived to the age of 70, making her an unlikely candidate.
The massive Cao Cao mausoleum complex appears to have been partially destroyed, however, there is a curious lack of rubble in the area, leading experts to believe that Cao Pi ended up having second thoughts about his father’s grand tomb.
According to legend, Cao Cao was firmly against having his own grave marked. It is even said that he had ordered that 72 coffins be made for him and buried in 72 different sites around the state in order to confuse grave robbers.
However, experts surmise that in the interest of filial piety, Cao Pi decided to go against his father’s wishes and bury him in a large, emperor-sized mausoleum with various official state monuments. Only later did Cao Pi have a change of heart, deciding to tear the monuments down to conceal the site of his father’s resting place.