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Questions over Cao Cao's tomb won't change official approval
Writer: Wang Hanlu     Origin: People's Daily Online    Time: 2010-08-25     Hit: 967     【Font:Small Big

"Winged people" found in Cao Cao's tomb.

As of now, doubts about the authenticity of the findings in Cao Caos tomb will not affect its official recognition, which has already been made, an expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said on Aug. 23, Beijing Times reported.

Since Cao Caos tomb was found in Anyang, Henan province, voices of dissent have continually arisen. And a group of experts even announced that the discovery and excavation were staged and the objects found therein were fakes.

According to an official from the National Bureau of Cultural Relics, Cao Caos tomb had officially applied as a national cultural relics protection unit and waited for the selection.

Questions about characters: Its not scientific to judge through writing style

According to epigrapher Li Luping, director of the Committee of Calligraphy and Appraisal of Jiangsu Province, the epitaph of Lu Qian, which directly indicates the specific location of the tomb of Cao Cao, is a forgery.

Li discovered that the characters 年(year) and 武(military) on the epitaph were written in almost the same style as in modern times, quite different from the more square style in use at the time in history.

Regarding this, Bai Yunxiang, associate head of the Archaeology Institute of CASS, said the epitaph of Lu Qian was found more than 10 years ago, but no one had ever connected it with Cao Caos tomb at the time. Now, the two things were connected together, causing some to believe Cao Caos tomb to be a fake. This is not logical, Bai said.

Zhao Chao, another expert from same institute, said writing styles in ancient times were quite diverse, and people should not judge whether the writing is true or false only according to writing styles they had or had not seen before.

Query on painting stone: Dubious painting stones do not mean a fake Cao Cao Gao Ling

Regarding those painting stones unearthed from Cao Caos tomb, some experts said the painting stones describing battle scenes were imitations of Han Dynasty painting stones in Jiaxiang of Shandong Province, and they were not appropriate.

Bai explained that those painting stones do raise some questions, but a final judgment still should be made only after careful research and study.

Zhao also said problems do exist on those painting stones, but that did not mean the Cao Cao Gao Ling was also a fake.

Query on tombs scale: Number of stairs steps has no set relationship with owners identity

Zhang Guoan, an expert on the Wei Jin period (220-420) from Beijing Normal University, said that by studying the changes in the forms and systems of ancient tombs, he found that the newly-unearthed tomb was the same scale as the tomb of Cao Xiu, one of Cao Cao sons, which is very unlikely as the tombs of a father and son would not be the same.

However, Bai said there were no systems recorded in history books about the relationship between stairs steps and owners identity.

An official from CASS said the doubts that do exist put Cao Caos tomb in the spotlight. He said all experts could say their academic opinions so long as they have evidence, but according to the available information found so far, the tomb has been confirmed as Cao Caos tomb. However, claims that it was a premeditated attempt to pass off another tomb as belonging to Cao Cao is totally out of academic discussion, he said.

Newest results: Winged people found in Cao Caos tomb

Cao Cao Gao Lings excavation work is drawing an end, and work in tomb No. 1 and No. 2 will be finished before late September. After restoration, the number of cultural relics excavated from Cao Caos tomb increased to more than 400, and the most interesting things found are dragons and Winged people.

Dragons in Cao Caos tomb are much like snakes, while those winged people are just like angels in Western myths, but only seldom are the winged people here are seen flying.

 
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