Archaeologists find tomb of ancient Chinese female íprime ministerí Shangguan Waníer
Archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a 7th-century female politician who was one of the most powerful women in Chinaís ancient history, local media said on Thursday.
Image via RawStory.com
Shangguan Waníer -- who lived from 664 to 710 in the Tang dynasty -- was a trusted aide to Chinaís first empress Wu Zetian and is sometimes described as effectively her prime minister. She married Wuís son, while having relationships with both the rulerís lover and her nephew.
As a sequence of murders, coups and affairs enveloped the dynasty, Shangguan Waníerís husband Li Xian briefly became emperor -- only to be killed by his senior wife, who took power herself. She was deposed in turn by Li Longji, who killed both her and Shangguan Waníer.
The site was discovered near an airport in Xianyang, in the northern province of Shaanxi, and confirmed by an inscription, China Radio International said on its website. Pictures showed deep excavations of ochre-coloured earth, arched passageways and a number of ceramic horses.
"The discovery of the tomb with the epitaph is of major significance in the study of the Tang Dynasty," the China Daily said, citing a historian specialising in the era, Du Wenyu.
The grave was badly damaged, suggesting a "large-scale, organised" and possibly "official destruction", Geng Qinggang, a Shaanxi-based researcher told the China News Service on Thursday.
Read the full article at: artdaily.org
For a gallery of photos and further reading: Tomb of Chinaís woman prime minister: The life and lovers of politician who served first female emperor and was eventually executed in a palace coup
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