Tomb tourists told: Sorry, it's a fake

Tomb tourists told: Sorry, it's a fake

Visitors to an emperor's tomb in China have been looking at something else -- a new discovery is said to be the real deal

Emperor Yang Guang's failed attacks on Goguryeo (now Korea) and increased taxation are believed to have led to the fall of the Sui Dynasty (581–618 CE). The discovery of an old tomb in China has repercussions beyond the history books and academic debates of scholars -- it also means tourists to an existing tomb in the same area have been unintentionally duped.

A tomb recently unearthed at a construction site in Yangzhou, China, is said to be the final resting place of Yang Guang (569-618), reported state-run newspaper China Daily

One of the most notorious emperors in Chinese history, Yang Guang is blamed for the deaths of millions of people who died when he ordered the renovation of the Great Wall and attacks on Goguryeo (now Korea) in a failed takeover attempt.

He's also believed to have murdered his father.

Archaeologists say inscriptions on a tablet found on the newly uncovered site show the tomb belonged to the emperor.

This means a nearby tomb opened and operated since 2001 as Yang Guang's resting place cannot be that, and thousands of visitors to the site over the last 12 years have been looking at something else.

China's media has more questions than answers.

Some claim this new tomb is a fake as well. Chinese emperors often built dummy tombs to thwart the efforts of thieves or as tombs for their belongings, while they were laid to rest in a separate area.

If the old tomb was meant as a robbery deterrent, it failed -- the new discovery is said to have already been ransacked, with just a few royal valuables, such as a jade-and-gold belt and lion-shaped door knockers found on the site and believed to be further proof of Yang's ownership.

Another tomb, believed to be the resting place of the emperor's queen, was also discovered. 

More on CNN: 10 of the world's most beautiful cemeteries

Frances Cha is a Digital Producer at CNN Travel. 

 

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