The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor

The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure

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Featured image: Artist’s reconstruction of the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang (


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By Ḏḥwty


The so-called "Great Historian" of China has been discredited by a number of period authorities - including myself. He was a propagandist for the Hand dynasty, a pawn who wrote what he was instructed to write. His sources concerning the first dynasty were either hearsay or made up. If interested in the facts of Qin Shi Huang and the first empire, see The School of Sun Tzu - Winning Empires without War. It is available from Amazon

Tsurugi's picture

So are you disputing the nature of the tomb? Or are you just mentioning that the Great Historian was in a fact a Sleazy Propagandist?

I'm not meaning to attack what you said. I am just interested in what you might think about the tomb and its supposed contents. I recall reading that they did detect sizeable amounts of mercury within the still unexplored areas.

Nothing is known for certain about the tomb. Yes, higher levels of mercury have been detected than should be expected. But it is poor history and poor archaeology that takes as gospel the ruminations of one "historian" who wrote his "histories" 100 years after the emperor's life. I point this out only as a caution to those who seek to examine and explain China's first emperor. His story has never been accurately told. Until now. It can be found in The School of Sun Tzu: Winning Empires without War

Tsurugi's picture

Thanks for the reply, and I see what you're saying. It is true that having only one source--and a non-contemporary source at that--is usually considered weak evidence, at best. Not in this case, apparently.

At the risk of sounding somewhat conspiratorially minded, I wonder if this might be one of the reasons they have not actually breached the tomb itself. The Chinese authorities are very carefully managing the historical record found through archaeology within their borders, and the older the site, the more cautious they become. Perhaps they prefer the writings of the "Great Historian" and do not wish to damage his credibility with facts.

I am a student of Sun Tzu, by the way. At least I try to be. I have a much-thumbed copy of The Art of War, and I glean something new from it every time I open it.

China has a huge problem with Qin Shi Huang - and it now does with Mao. The questions are the same for both: What is the truth of their lives and accomplishments? Did they build or break the Chinese people? Where would "China" be without their having lived?

I tend to believe the official line about the tomb though. China does not have the resources or technology to open it. The sad thing is that if they did open it today, they would not understand what they were seeing - because they are convinced what it is (which is my argument). Qin Shi Huang has been portrayed - for over 2000 years - as the ultimate in waste, extravagance, tyranny and violence. It would be impossible today for them to see him as the world's greatest peace maker and nation builder. Which he was.


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