Monday, July 20, 2015

Chinese archaeologists unearth tomb of ancient medical school head

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient tomb belonging to a high-profile doctor who lived more than 700 years ago in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The newly-discovered tomb, located at a village of Xi'an City, capital of the province, dates back to the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), said Duan Yi, associate professor with Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

A gravestone inscribed with 665 words inside the tomb revealed the identity of its owner, Wu Jing.

Wu was born into the famous Ru Yi (Confucian doctor) family in Zhouzhi, now a county of Xi'an.

Confucian doctors were a special group proficient in both Confucianism and medicine, which allowed them a high status during that period.

Wu was appointed to a post in charge of local medical services and education, similar to today's head of a medical school, the inscription on the gravestone said.

A story was recorded in the gravestone that he once cut flesh from his own arm to feed his ailing mother to show filial piety.

"The tomb is an important discovery that will shed light on unknown aspects of medical history and social culture in the Yuan dynasty," said Duan.

The tomb is composed of a passage, a door and a burial chamber. Old iron nails, rotten wood ashes and unknown bone residue were found in the chamber, he added.

A total of 76 burial objects including pottery and jade were also discovered in the tomb.

Mengjie. Ed. 2015. “Chinese archaeologists unearth tomb of ancient medical school head”. Xinhua net. Posted: May 6, 2015. Available online:

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