TIMES WEDNESDAY APRIL 10 2002
From Oliver August
THE Yellow Emperor, regarded as the founder of the Middle Kingdom,
was buried under the impact of a meteorite 5,000 years ago,
Chinese scientists said yesterday.
to the official China Daily newspaper, scientists believe that
a 3ft long meteorite fragment found near the Emperor Huangdis
mausoleum in the city of Xian, in north central legend, according
to which Huangdi died when the land was shattered
and was broken up by nine dragons.
discovery of the meteorite has great significance in answering
questions about the beginning of Chinas 5,000-year-old
civilization, the newspaper said.
experts from the Shaanxi Provincial Coal Geological Prospecting
group, who estimated the age of the meteorite, did not detail
what method of research led them to this conclusion.
cynical observers regard the discovery as part of a broad propaganda
campaign by the Communist Party to use Chinese history to legitimize
its territorial ambitions.
longevity of Chinese Empire, from Huangdi to Chairman Mao, is
meant to justify the latters claim to ruling Taiwan, Tibet
and Xinijang, which only occasionally were part of China over
a ceremony at Huangdis mausoleum, a government official
said: On this day, we wish to let our Taiwan compatriots
know, especially the Taiwan authorities, that we have the same
sees Taiwan as a renegade province, which it has every right
retake by force.
academic circles, skepticism abounds over Huangdi. He is credited
with the word emperor and the imperial colour yellow,
but Chinese legend also claims that he unified three big tribes
in the Yellow River and Yangtze River areas, invented the cart
and the boat, and that his dialogues with the Physician Qi Bo
were the basis of Chinas first medical book, the Yellow
Emperors Canon of Medicine.
wife, Lei Zu, appartently taught the Chinese how to weave silk
form silkworms and his minister Cang Jie devised the first Chinese
characters. The Emperor is said to have reigned from 2697 to
50,000 Chinese visited the mausoleum, first erected in the Han
Dynasty (206BC to 221AD), to pay their respects last Friday
for annualTomb Sweeping Day.
1992, China has spent £16 million on renovating the mausoleum