ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 120 renowned Chinese archaeologists on Sunday agreed that an ancient tomb belonged to Cao Cao, a cunning general and ruler who lived some 1,800 years ago, amid doubts about its authenticity.
"After discussions about excavated items from the tomb, a consensus has been reached that it belongs to Cao Cao", Bai Yunxiang, deputy director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told a symposium after a brief study of the tomb in Xigaoxue Village of Anyang, Henan Province, and some excavations on Saturday, along with some 120 archaeologists.
"The location of tomb does not contradict the historical records," said Han Lisen, director with the Archaeological Institute of Hebei Province.
Although no written materials were excavated, that does not mean the tomb cannot be identified as Cao Cao's, said Jiao Nanfeng, a researcher with the Archaeological Institute of Shaanxi Province, who had conducted three field studies in the tomb.
Many other senior archaeologists claimed that the designs and production methods of some excavated porcelain and stone wares revealed the distinguished social status of the tomb owner, which signalled the tomb was Cao Cao's.
The archaeologists made the remarks on the sidelines of an international seminar jointly hosted by the Institute of Archaeology of CASS and the Administration of Cultural Heritage of Henan Province.
Cao Cao, a legendary warlord of the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) when China had three separate rulers, has been portrayed as a cruel tyrant, but also a cunning military strategist and poet.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage declared in June that Cao Cao's tomb was one of the 10 top archaeological findings in China in 2009.
However, many archaeologists among others have challenged the authenticity of the tomb, citing unsolved mysteries. There was also rumors that some items in the tomb were intentionally forged.