By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor | LiveScience.com – 10 hrs ago
About 1,800 years ago, at a time when China was breaking apart into three warring kingdoms, a warrior was laid to rest.
His tomb was discovered in Xiangyang, a city that, in the time of the Three Kingdoms, was of great strategic importance. Rescue excavations started in October 2008 and now the discovery is detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Chinese Archaeology. (The report had appeared earlier, in Chinese, in the journal Wenwu.)
|Photo By Chinese Archaeology, cropping by Owen Jarus|
The rescue operation, carried out by the Xiangyang Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, uncovered many treasures in the tomb. One of the biggest finds was a life-size bronze horse, the largest ever found in China.It measures 5.3 feet long and by 5.3 feet tall (163 cm by 163 cm). "The horse figurine is in standing posture, has erected ears, protruded eyes, opened mouth, long and broad neck, upright mane and drooped tail," writes archaeologist Liu Jiangsheng. [Photos of Three Kingdoms' Tomb & Grave Goods]
More treasures – beautiful and gross
The treasures found in this tomb go on and on, gold and silver disks, crystal and agate beads, gold bracelets, just to name a few.
Among the finds is a jade pig figurine, his snout finely detailed, the tiny animal having apparently gone to sleep. Another work of art shows a glazed pottery figurine of a dog barking furiously while standing on all fours.
Even after the defeat the city of Xiangyang remained in Cao Cao's hands although an attempt to take it was made in AD 219 by Guan Yu, a Chinese general still revered today.