28 Dec 2009

Possible tomb of infamous warlord uncovered

1:37 pm on 28 December 2009

Chinese archaeologists believe they may have unearthed the tomb of a legendary third-century warlord.

Cao Cao, also known as the Emperor Wu of Wei, was a powerful politician and general who rose to power in the Han dynasty.

The BBC reports the tomb in Hunan province in central China has been looted many times, but archeologists say inscriptions remain that suggest it belongs to Cao Cao.

The burial site contains the skulls of two women and a man in his 60s, the age at which Cao Cao is said to have died.

Cao Cao became a larger-than-life character in literature and folklore, and is immortalised in Chinese opera.

Known for his political and military guile, he is usually portrayed as a cunning and ruthless villain.

He is the subject of a well known Chinese proverb: "speak of Cao Cao and he appears". This is the equivalent of the phrase "speak of the devil" in English.