“Mystery” and “mistake” of the Three Kingdoms spanning thousands of years

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It is not too much to say that 2010 is the year of the Three Kingdoms. Before the Spring Festival, the archaeology of Cao Cao’s tomb, which was hot fried, seemed to be a prelude to the magnificent debut of the new “Three Kingdoms”. However, in the Three Kingdoms, the audience is looking at the story, while the experts are looking at the historical facts. Well, I really see the problem. Experts suggested that the “Three Kingdoms” were not Wei, Shu and Wu! Tell me, these three countries have been talked about for more than a thousand years. Will there be any mistakes?

Although Cao Cao died before the formation of the Three Kingdoms, his role in the formation of the “Three Kingdoms” is beyond doubt. Just as the noise of Cao Cao’s tomb gradually fell, experts demonstrated the woman lying next to Cao Cao. So, who is the woman lying beside him? Experts gave a variety of conjectures. Surprisingly, one of them overturned the formed view based on the teeth of the deceased.

Now, the popularity of the new “Three Kingdoms” has quietly cooled the attention to the archaeology of Cao Cao’s tomb. In fact, after the overwhelming media coverage, experts have just begun to be busy. Not long ago, at the Symposium on “archaeological discovery of Cao Cao’s Gaoling” held in Anyang, the presidents of the Chinese society of Qin and Han history and the Chinese society of Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties history had an in-depth discussion on several outstanding issues. According to Hu Axiang, vice president of the Chinese society of Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties History, President of the Jiangsu Six Dynasties History Research Association, and professor of the Department of history of Nanjing University, who attended the meeting, Liu Chi, a researcher at the Institute of history of the Chinese Academy of social Sciences, attracted everyone’s attention.

The mystery of the Millennium

Who is the woman lying next to Cao Cao

Is the male skull in tomb 2 Cao Cao’s



The portrait of Mrs. Bian drawn by later generations according to imagination

According to the materials issued by Henan Institute of cultural relics and archaeology, tomb No. 2, which has been cleared up at present, is large-scale, with a total length of nearly 60 meters. The shape and structure of the brick tomb chamber are similar to the known high-grade tombs of the Han and Wei dynasties, indicating that the owner’s identity is high. The artifacts unearthed in the tomb have the characteristics of the late Eastern Han Dynasty, which coincides with the year of Cao Cao’s birth and death.

The one that can best show the identity of the owner of the tomb is a carved stone tablet unearthed in the tomb, which reads “Gehu halberd often used by King Wu of Wei Dynasty”. During the excavation, the public security organ also recovered from the tomb robbers a stone tablet of “Gehu dagger often used by King Wu of Wei” and a stone pillow of “comfort stone often used by King Wu of Wei” stolen from tomb 2. These exact stone inscriptions show that the owner of the tomb should be Cao Cao, the “king of Wei Wu”.

According to documents, Cao Cao was first named “Duke of Wei” before his death, and then “king of Wei”, with the posthumous title of “king of Wu” after his death. After his son Cao Pi became emperor, he pursued his title as “Emperor Wu” and was known as “Emperor Wu of Wei” in history. The inscriptions on stone tablets and stone pillows are called “King Wu of Wei”, which is in line with the appellation when Cao Cao was buried.

Professor Hu Axiang added evidence on this issue: during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and the early Three Kingdoms period, only Cao Cao had the posthumous title of “King Wu of Wei”; “West gaoxue village” and “East gaoxue village” are also quite consistent with the names of Cao Cao’s “Gaoling” recorded in historical documents.

In addition to the artifacts unearthed in the tomb, several human bones were also found in tomb 2. After the identification of archaeologists, these bones belong to three individuals, one of whom is a male aged about 60, and the other two belong to two women. The age of male is about 60, which is consistent with the age of Cao Cao at the time of his death. Two women, one of whom is about 50 years old and the other is about 20 years old, have been preliminarily identified by experts. At this academic conference, it was the age of this elderly woman that caused scholars to doubt her identity.

Who do the two female skulls belong to

Members of the academic department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Liuqingzhu, former director of the Archaeological Institute, told reporters: “The reason why there are different views is that there are many wives of Cao Cao. According to previous identification, some people believe that the older woman in the tomb may be the original wife of Cao Cao, Mrs. Ding, and the younger one may be the later Mrs. Liu. This speculation has obvious loopholes. Because although Mrs. Ding is the original wife of Cao Cao, she has no children, and was abolished as early as the early years of Jian’an, and the possibility of her being buried with Cao Cao Cao is very small. Liu Madam did die at a young age, but she gave birth to two sons and a daughter to Cao Cao, which is unlikely to be only about 20 years old. It was Mrs Bian, the mother of Cao Pi, Emperor Wen of Wei, who was canonized as Queen a year before Cao Cao died. According to the system at that time, she was most likely to be buried with Cao Cao. “

Since Mrs Bian and Cao Cao are most likely to be buried together, why do some experts think that the elderly woman in the tomb is Mrs Ding? It turns out that this is related to Mrs. Bian’s age. According to historical records, Mrs Bian was born in AD 160 and died in AD 230, 10 years after Cao Cao died. Mrs Bian died at the age of 70, which is obviously quite different from the age of the older women in the tomb. Accordingly, experts put forward different opinions.

These different opinions make the identity of the elderly women in the tomb seem mysterious. She really should be Mrs. Bian, but the conclusive evidence is there. The victim’s age is only about 50 years old, so she can’t get involved with Mrs. Bian.

This 50 year old woman is neither Mrs. Ding nor Mrs. Liu, nor Mrs. Bian. Who will she be? In other words, who is qualified to be buried with Cao Cao, king of Wei Wu? And who is that 20-year-old woman?

Teeth may reveal the true identity of the owner



The teeth and skulls of the elderly woman in tomb 2 may be owned by Mrs Bian

The academic conference held in Anyang gave Liu Chi, a researcher at the Institute of history of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an opportunity to answer questions.

“In the warehouse of Anyang archaeological site, I had the opportunity to see the teeth of an elderly woman at a close distance. After reading it, I questioned the identification conclusion of age.”

Researcher Liu Chi told reporters that before studying history, he once worked in the Department of stomatology in the hospital. “Experience tells me that the owner of this pair of teeth in front of me should be more than 50 years old.”

Liu Chi said that the teeth of ancient people are different from those of modern people. At the same age, ancient people’s teeth were more worn than modern people, because ancient food was coarser than modern ones; Also modern people, because of different classes and different foods, even if they are the same age, the degree of tooth wear is different. The elderly woman in tomb 2 belonged to the aristocracy in the social class at that time, so her food was relatively fine, that is to say, the owner of this pair of teeth, she should be older. “I judge that it should be over 60 years old, but the specific age figure cannot be concluded.” Accordingly, Liu Chi has such a view, “I think that if this inference is possible, the elderly women in tomb 2 should not be excluded from Mrs Bian.”

Why is there an error of nearly 10 years old in judging the age of the deceased through teeth? After interviewing researcher Liu Chi, the reporter found member Liu Qingzhu again with this question. Liu Qingzhu told reporters that such errors are entirely possible.

“From the perspective of physical anthropology, the judgment of the elderly woman in tomb 2 is mainly based on the healing degree of the bone seams of her skull and the growth and wear degree of her teeth. Generally speaking, for children, it is more accurate to judge the age according to the bone seams; for adults, it is not accurate and cannot be accurate to the single digits. Moreover, because the physical anthropology standard of the yellow people has not been established, our current judgment standard is based on Western, that is, white standards. In this way, the possibility of error is greater. “

Liu Qingzhu also expressed doubts about the age of Mrs. Bian recorded in historical books: “Mrs. Bian was born as a singer. Before she married Cao Cao, her social status was not high. Ancient historians were able to report the specific year of her birth. The authenticity is quite questionable. Based on a variety of factors, I speculated that Mrs. Bian should have been in her 60s when she died, rather than the 70s recorded in historical books. Therefore, based on the current evidence, the possibility that the older woman in tomb 2 was Mrs. Bian could not be ruled out. The younger one might be her maid ? However, when tomb 1 is excavated and cleared, new situations may also occur. “

Since May 2, the new TV series “Three Kingdoms” has been broadcast simultaneously on several satellite TV channels. For a time, comments about the new “Three Kingdoms” came overwhelming. However, when netizens commented on the new “Three Kingdoms” with great enthusiasm, Professor Hu Axiang’s focus was obviously different from that of the general audience.

Millennium mistake

“Three Kingdoms” refers to Wei, Shu and Wu? Millennium corruption!!

Which three countries does “Three Kingdoms” mean?

“What three kingdoms do you mean by ‘Three Kingdoms’?” Listening to the reporter talking about the new “Three Kingdoms”, teacher Hu raised such a surprising question. The reporter suspected that this was a brain teaser, but after thinking for a long time, he answered honestly, “Wei, Shu, Wu.”

“Wrong, in the era of the Three Kingdoms, there was no kingdom of Shu.” Hu’s unquestionable refutation surprised the reporter. Chen Shou wrote Shu Shu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, and the romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is popular among the public, advocates the orthodox Shu state established by Liu Bei, a “Han clan”. As a novel, the romance of the Three Kingdoms has an element of fiction, which is understandable; However, as a historical book, why should the annals of the Three Kingdoms write history for a non-existent country is really unimaginable.

Seeing the reporter’s suspicious face, teacher Hu explained with a smile: “the Three Kingdoms we usually refer to refer to the three regimes established successively by Cao Pi, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. Among the Three Kingdoms, the country name of Cao Pi’s regime is Wei; the country name of Sun Quan’s regime is Wu; and the country name of Liu Bei in Chengdu is Han because he is’ the son of emperor Jing of Han, after the victory of King Yasuhiro Nakayama ‘.”

Mr. Hu said that it was impossible to prove whether Liu Bei was really the descendant of Liu Sheng, the king of Jing in Zhongshan, but anyway, Liu Bei gradually formed his one-third power with the banner of rejuvenating the Han Dynasty by virtue of his identity of “the Zhou of the emperor’s room”. “What we call ‘Shu’ now is really a misnomer of Liu Bei’s regime by later generations. This mistake is more than a thousand years.”

“Ci Hai” is also wrong to regard Liu Bei’s regime as “Shu”

Hu’s words reminded the reporter of Tang Guoqiang’s version of the romance of the Three Kingdoms, which has been regarded as a classic. Then, what will be the name of Liu Bei’s regime? The reporter saw that in the war scene displayed at the beginning of the series, Liu Bei’s army held high the flag embroidered with the word “Shu” when they came out.

The reporter then watched the new version of the Three Kingdoms, which is on the air. Unfortunately, in the beginning and end of the new Three Kingdoms film, the flag held by the soldiers is a long-term vision, and the words on it can’t be seen at all. However, the reporter saw in Baidu Post Bar that a netizen said that in the new “Three Kingdoms” film he had seen, Zhugeliang made a shocking confession before he died, which roughly meant that if God gave me time, I would definitely let Shu exist for a few more years. If the netizen remembered correctly, the new version of the three kingdoms also made the mistake of not distinguishing “Shu” from “Han”.

For the mistakes made in the TV series, teacher Hu Axiang commented, “it’s really not right. No matter how a TV series is interpreted, the least historical facts should be respected. Think about it, how can Liu Bei allow his soldiers to fight the ‘Shu’ flag, and how can Zhugeliang, the prime Minister of the Han Dynasty, call his country ‘Shu’?”

As a popular TV series, due to the writer’s ignorance of history, it is inevitable that there will be errors. Then, can this seemingly insignificant error be avoided in formal publications?

In the “Ci Hai” published by Shanghai Dictionary Publishing House, the reporter accidentally found that “Shu” appeared impressively in the attached “chronology of Chinese history” in both the 1979 edition and the 1999 edition.

Where is the source of such a “pediatric” error

This is really puzzling. Why did such a “pediatric” mistake appear in our vision again and again?

“To call the ‘Han’ of Liu Bei and Liu Chan ‘Shu’ certainly has historical origins and special considerations. Among them, the most influential one is Chen Shou’s neutrality of the Shu book in the annals of the Three Kingdoms. And the annals of the Three Kingdoms is the most important official history for the study of the history of the Three Kingdoms. So it’s wrong, so it’s wrong.”

As for why Chen Shou wrote “Han history” in the name of Shu Shu Shu, Professor Hu Axiang said that this is actually a long debated issue. “Some people believe that Chen Shou originally belonged to the Bashu aboriginal group, and there must be a contradiction between the Bashu aboriginal group and Liu Bei overseas Chinese residence group. In addition, Chen Shou’s father was’ Kun punished ‘by Zhugeliang for violating the military order (Note: an ancient punishment refers to shaving off the prisoner’s hair), and Chen Shou himself was despised by Zhugeliang. Because of these gratitude and resentment, Chen Shou wrote in the annals of the Three Kingdoms China belittles the ‘Han’ built by Liu Bei and calls it ‘Shu’. “

“Some people also believe that because Chen Shou was a courtier of the Western Jin Dynasty who inherited Cao Wei, according to the usual practice of feudal historians, Chen Shouxiu’s annals of the three kingdoms must regard Wei as orthodox. If he called Liu Bei’s regime ‘Han’, it was to respect Liu Bei as orthodox, and this obviously placed Cao Wei and the Western Jin in an unjust usurped position, which Chen Shou would never dare.”

Professor Hu Axiang believes that no matter how the argument is, a basic fact is that the country name of Liu Bei and Liu Chan’s regime is “Han”, not “Shu”. Moreover, he pointed out that even in Chen Shou’s annals of the Three Kingdoms, the text also called Liu Bei and Liu Chan regimes “Han”. For example, in the covenant between Liu Chan and Sun Quan contained in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, the book of Wu and the biography of Wu Zhu, it is said that “since the Han and Wu established an alliance today, we will work together to defeat Wei thieves… If it is harmful to Wu, the Han will attack it.”

“Therefore, when we describe Liu Bei and Liu Chan’s regime today, we should call them ‘Han’ based on historical facts; or for the consideration of distinguishing the Western Han established by Liu Bang from the Eastern Han established by Liu Xiu, we should use the old name ‘Jihan’, which is the third ‘Han’ that inherits the former Han and the latter Han; the bottom line is that it is conventionally called ‘Shuhan’. It is absolutely forbidden to call it ‘Shu’ alone. Because the country name of ‘Han’ as an orthodox symbol is Liu Bei, Liu Chan and others The largest political capital. “

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