Seven months ago a surprise find at a construction site in Yangzhou in east China was thought to be the tomb of Emperor Yang from the Sui Dynasty. Now after months of work, experts have verified on Nov 16 that two tombs found in the area are that of Emperor Yang and his wife.
Tomb found in Xihu township of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province
A stone tablet with the name of Emperor Yang inscribed into it led to a seven-month long research project considering its authenticity. Now archaeologists have concluded that the two brick tombs are indeed of Emperor Yang, the second emperor of the Sui Dynasty and his wife, buried some 1,500 years ago.
Grave goods from the tomb of Empress Xiao
Other clues experts were using included female bone remains in one tomb, along with relics found in both tombs such as a bronze door knocker, a jade waist belt, a bronze chime bell and some pottery figurines.
bronze percussion instrument from the tomb of Empress Xiao
For two hundred years experts had believed the tomb of emperor Yang lay elsewhere in the region, a site which has since become a tourist hotspot, and is five kilometres away from the current verified site.
The fact that the location of the tomb has been a mystery for so long might relate to that fact that the emperor was killed in a coup - a disgraced ending for an emperor.
pottery figurine from the tomb of Empress Xiao
gold-jade belt from the tomb of Emperor Yang Guang of Sui dynasty
Although the Grand Canal, the ancient waterway linking Beijing and Hangzhou, was commissioned by him, Emperor Yang is considered by many to be one of the worst tyrants in Chinese history. The leader left the empire bankrupt and the people in revolt. He was eventually strangled in a coup led by one of his generals at the age of 49.