📩 05/10/2023 12:09
The tomb discovered by archaeologists near the city of Xianyang in China's Shaanxi Province proved the first political power struggle of the Northern Zhou dynasty, which until now had only been recorded in historical records.
Limited information is available about Emperor Xiaomin (also known as Yuwen Jue), known as the founder of the Northern Zhou dynasty. By this time, historians record that Xiaomin reigned for only a few months before being dethroned and executed. The emperor's tomb has not been found until today.
Archaeologists prepared a report based on the inscription on the tomb, and according to this, the tomb belongs to Xiaomin. The reason why he has not been found to this day is that Xiaomin was buried not as an emperor, but as "Lueyang Lord", which was his rank before the imperial period.
According to Xinhua agency, the newly discovered tomb consists of a single chamber about 56 meters long and about 10 meters deep. A grave belonging to Xiaomin's brother had previously been found nearby. The tomb of another brother, Yuwen Yong (Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou), is located approximately 8 km to the east.
Behind the scenes of the power struggle
This discovered evidence actually confirms many historical records because at that time in China, there was an environment dominated by civil wars and political chaos. Therefore, China was divided into several kingdoms; Historians call this period the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties between 420 and 589.
Xiaomin was succeeded to the imperial throne by his cousin Yuwen Hu. Xiaomin was the son of Yuwen Tai, a powerful general of the Western Wei dynasty who died in 556, and ascended to the throne in 557 with Hu's support. However, Xiaomin rebelled against Hu's authority, so Hu had him deposed and executed a few months later.
According to historical records, Xiaomin was declared the first emperor of the Northern Zhao dynasty about 37 years after his death. In a way, this is the first physical evidence of the political struggle that took place during the founding of the Northern Zhou dynasty, described only in historical writings. The report was published on the science-news website Live Science on September 28.