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Tomb of ancient China's 'female prime minister' discovered

2013-09-16 09:28:04



The tomb of an ancient female Chinese official, regarded as the most influential female "prime minister" in Tang Dynasty (618-907), was discovered in northwest China's Shaanxi province in September.

The tomb, which is 36.5 meters in circumference and 10.1 meters in depth, was badly damaged and only a few burial accessories were excavated, according to Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

From an engraving inside the tomb, archaeologists confirmed the grave belonged to Shangguan Wan'er (664-710), an influential politician and poet during the regime of Empress Wu Zetian (624-705), China's first female ruler.

"Archaeologists believe it was not damaged by common grave robbers but by officials in ancient China," said Yu Gengzhe, a history professor at Shaanxi Normal University.` "The tiles on the floor had all been ripped up. Perhaps grave robbers came for the treasures and did not have enough time," Yu said.

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