Chinese archaeologists have confirmed the occupant of a royal tomb dating back around 1,000 years in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as Yelu Abaoji (Emperor Taizu of Liao), khagan of the nomadic Khitans who once ruled the northern part of China.
Based on the tomb structure and burial objects, archaeologists made the preliminary conclusion that the Qijiazi tomb in Kailu County under Tongliao dated back to the Liao Dynasty (916-1125 AD) and was a temporary burial place of the emperor.
According to the regional institute of relics and archaeology, some of the unearthed burial objects were also found in the subordinate tomb of the emperor's formal cemetery in the city of Chifeng.
The function of a stone house built of giant granite slabs some 100 km away in ancient Zuzhou had been undetermined for years. But an underground stone chamber found in the tomb was believed to be designed by the same group of people. Therefore, archaeologists believe the stone house in Zuzhou may be a temporary mortuary specifically designed for the emperor and the place for the burial ceremony.
The several murals inside the tomb also shed light upon the social lives and funeral customs of ancient times, archaeologists said, adding that the unearthed burial objects were of great significance to the discussion of economic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world at the time.