Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

TL;DR – After 1,800 years.

Cao Cao or 曹操 was a Chinese warlord during the Eastern Han dynasty some 1,800 years ago. He was born in 155 AD and died in 220 AD at the age of 65 years old.

If you have watched or read anything related to the Three Kingdoms period, you’d probably know that he is one of the central figures during the period and was later featured as a central character in the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

It is thought that Cao Cao forbade any grand tombs but that his son Cao Pi ignored his wishes and built one anyway.

Accordingly to Wikipedia, he is often portrayed as a cruel and merciless tyrant but his brilliance and military wisdom is definitely undeniable.

Before he died, he had made careful plans to keep his final resting place a secret – 72 coffins were carried to 72 separate burial sites on the day of his funeral.

However, Cao Pi is thought to have changed his mind later, fearing tomb robbers, and had the upper part of the mausoleum taken down. Pictured is the excavation site.

According to the South China Morning Post , archaeologists believe that they have finally found his tomb and remains.

Archaeologists say they are now sure that the remains of a man aged between 60 and 70 are those of Cao Cao. This picture shows the site where the remains are buried.

The enormous mausoleum complex they had discovered consists of two constructions, an underground tunnel, and the remains of an adult male in his sixties and two women inside. Confirmation of the find has been made officially public after the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology concluded that the remains almost certainly belonged to the legendary warlord.

The huge mausoleum site was hard to find as most of its structure above ground had been demolished.

A smaller grave found near the main grave room is believed to be that of Cao’s first son Cao Ang, who died at a young age, according to Pan Weibin, an expert at the institute.

A burial iron knife found at the site.

The identities of two ladies found in the tomb, however, remains unknown.

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According to historical records, Cao Cao was said to have been buried with his wife, who died aged between 70 and 80, but the two corpses are of one woman in her fifties and one in her twenties.

A new museum is now planned at the site.

(All images via)


By Zahra