In 1964, a surprising discovery was made in China – a tomb containing the remains of hundreds of horses, arranged neatly in rows. Such a complex burial and large sacrifice clearly indicated that the tomb belonged to a person who held a high place in society. It was soon found that the tomb belonged to Duke Jing of Qi, and that the horse remains were, sadly, a sacrifice made in his honor. Now excavations have resumed at the ancient sacrificial pit and archaeologists are hoping to learn more secrets about the burial, history, and scale of the army in the pre-Qin period.
Duke Jing, Son of a Concubine
From 547 to 490 BC the State of Qi was ruled by Duke Jing of Qi. Duke Jing was given the name Lü Chujiu at birth, and his ancestral name was Jiang. Duke Jing was a title he earned after his death. The Duke was born to a concubine of Duke Ling of Qi, and had an older half-brother named Duke Zhuang. Their father died in 554 BC, and was succeeded by Duke Zhuang.
Cui Zhu, a powerful minister, supported Duke Zhuang, until Duke Zhuang had an affair with Cui Zhu’s wife. As a result, Chi Zhu killed Duke Zhuang in 548 BC. Upon his brother’s death, Duke Jing took to the throne. With Duke Jing on the throne, Cui Zhu and nobleman Qing Feng took control of the state as co-prime ministers. After much turmoil in the State of Qi caused by unrest between Cui Zhi and Qing Feng, Duke Jing appointed Yan Ying as prime minister, and thus began a period of peace and prosperity for the State of Qi.