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China purportedly discovers tomb of famed general Cao Cao

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 9:12am

(Reuters) - Chinese archeologists have unearthed a large third-century tomb, which they say could be that of Cao Cao, the legendary politician and general famous throughout East Asia for his Machiavellian tactics.

The tomb, discovered in Xigaoxue village near the ancient Chinese city of Anyang, Henan Province, has an epitaph and inscription that appear to refer to Cao Cao, Central China Television said on Sunday.

A Chinese proverb, "speak of Cao Cao and he appears," is the equivalent of "speak of the devil" in English.

Cao Cao was the final chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty, who went on to form his own state during the political turmoil of the Three Kingdoms period. He died in 220 AD in Luoyang, the capital of the Eastern Han dynasty, and was posthumously named Emperor of the Wei state that he founded.

In Chinese lore, a number of anecdotes tell of Cao Cao's ruthlessness, cunning, and military and political acumen.

The tomb contains the body of a man in his 60s, corresponding to Cao Cao's age at his death, and two women.

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