In the tomb of an emperor, accompanied by 600 steeds, a startling discovery awaits. Upon examining a skull, archaeologists uncover evidence of a previously unknown and brutal sacrificial method.

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
August 3, 2023

Experts unexpectedly found a herd of horses buried in a separate area, next to the tomb of Qi Jinggong. Initially, 145 horses were discovered in a hole 215 m long to the north. Later, archaeologists found the bones of hundreds more horses exposed to the east and west in 2005.

Up to now, archaeologists estimate that only a part of the herd of horses buried under Qi Canh Cong has been discovered, which has amounted to about 600 horses.

Scenes in the tomb of Qi Canh Cong.

These horses are confirmed to have been sacrificed to their owners. They were given alcohol and then they were brutally killed. Archaeologists examined the bones, found their skulls smashed, suggesting they were killed with blunt tools.

The horse skeletons then seem to have been properly arranged into action poses, like the horse getting ready to rush into battle.

Horse skeletons in the tomb of Qi Jinggong..In addition to being Qi Jinggong’s personal hobby, horses also played an important role in ancient Chinese culture. The steed is considered an indicator of national military strength and is used as a plow in agricultural production.