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Chinese Wooden Slips Revealed The Immortality Pursuit

Chinese Wooden Slips Revealed The Immortality Pursuit

It’s hard to get to the throne but even harder to leave it. Once on the top, people will find it hard to accept the truth that they are no longer on the top. That is reason why the emperor and king in the history found it extremely hard to abandon their throne. But if not the civil war or the external forces, there would always be one thing that could over-throne any king: Age. No one could ever escape the aging process of their life. As the greed and the desire to rule forever, they sought the immortality. This was commonplace in the royal family, especially in China. The archaeologists discovered the Chinese wooden slips revealed the pursuit of immortality of the Qin Shi Huang Emperor.

The discovery of Chinese wooden slips

The Chinese wooden slips depicting the search for immortality of Qin Shi Huang revealed from the surface in the central of Hunan. It included an order from the Tian Zi (The son of the sky who is the King). Qin Shi Huang the Emperor ordered his people to seek the formula of immortality. It occurred nationwide.

The remains of the chinese wooden slips on display
The remains of the Chinese wooden slips on display

The desire of Qin was so great that he delivered his order to the frontier and the most remote regions. Bear in mind that the mission of delivering message in the ancient time was very difficult. Because it required an extremely effective administration and force to carry the emperor’s order away. The transportation and the facilities were undeveloped.

The discovery of these Chinese wooden slips revealed the perfect centralization of authority of Qin Emperor. A village “Duxiang” replied to the emperor’s order that there was no formula of immortality that they could find for the emperor. “Langya”, another village, offered the formula from herbs that they believed could make their emperor become immortal.

Terracotta Warriors Chinese emperor tomb Qin Shi Huang
8,000 famous Terracotta Warriors were to escort Qin Shi Huang into his afterlife. Terracotta Warriors included the infantryman, the generals, the archers, etc.

The wooden slips contained up to 200,000 Chinese characters. This number is incredible. Because one single Chinese character might contain a lot of meaning hidden behind. They talked about policies, military, economy, law, and medicine. Despite the short life-span of 15 years, the Qin dynasty had a very complicated medicine system. This might be the result of Qin Shi Huang’s nonstop pursuit of immortality. It suggested that the ancient Chinese were aware of the acupuncture, moxibustion, etc. And most of the recorded cases happened among the patients with social rank.

Qin Shi Huang and Unfulfilled Desire

Qin Shi Huang name meaning
Qin Shi Huang ( 秦始皇) means “The First Emperor”. “始” (Shi) means the beginning and “皇” (Huang) means the emperor

Qin Shi Huang which meant “The First Emperor” was the first emperor of the unified China. He was the one that connected and completed the Great Wall of China. Around 2,200 years ago, this emperor ordered his people to find the formula of immortality. But his desire doomed to failure.

Because he could not escape his fate of age, he wanted his afterlife with the escort of the great warriors. That was the reason why Qin Shi Huang ordered to build the great tomb of his with the clay warriors. The underground mausoleum was dedicated to Qin Shi Huang. The tomb of Qin is still surrounding with mysteries. The scholars stated that to make sure no one could intrude his final resting place, Qin Shi Huang ordered to equip the poisonous arrows and traps inside his tomb.

The death of Qin Shi Huang was assumed to be his consumption of mercury sulfide. Ironically, the immortality formula backfired and took the life of Qin Shi Huang when he turned 39.

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