In 2008 some workers were digging near the kiln where they plied their trade when they stumbled across an old stone tablet. Presumably hoping to profit from this apparently ancient artifact, they kept quiet about their find. But the men were caught, and astonishingly the tablets turned out to be from the tomb of one of China’s greatest warlords and leaders, Cao Cao, who ruled some 1,800 years ago.
Cao Cao lived in eastern China from 155 to 220 AD during a turbulent time in Chinese history known as the Three Kingdoms period. He was born in the provincial city of Bozhou into minor aristocracy. His father had been adopted by a certain Cao Teng who had been one of the Emperor Huan’s favorite court eunuchs.
Cao Cao’s political career started at the youthful age of 20 when he was given the position of district captain of the city of Luoyang. There he forged a reputation for ruthlessness by flogging people for even minor transgressions of city laws, no matter what their social standing.