Beijing, April 18 (IANS/EFE) The tomb of one of China’s most loathed rulers was discovered by chance over the weekend at a construction site.
The find was made Sunday by workers at a building under construction in the eastern city of Yangzhou, where Emperor Yang Guang (A.D. 569-618) spent his final days, having sought refuge in the city from a popular uprising only to be strangled by one of his generals.
Though the mausoleum is in poor condition, the inscriptions on the tombstone and the presence of some objects that were of exclusive use by emperors leave no doubt it is Yang’s burial place.
Another mausoleum in the same city had attracted thousands of tourists over many years by billing itself as the resting place for Yang’s remains, but the new find shows those claims to be false.
Chief municipal archaeologist Shu Jiaping said a gold and jade belt and lion-shaped door knockers found inside the mausoleum prove it to be the 7th century ruler’s real mausoleum.
The discovery surprised nearby residents, one of whom told the China Daily it was an honor “to have had an emperor as a neighbour, even if he was an evil one”.
Yang Guang, who ruled China from 604 to 618, is traditionally described by historians as a profligate ruler who committed numerous military blunders and whose delusions of grandeur brought about the untimely deaths of millions of his subjects.