Editor's Note- 3-part Special: Cracking Cao Cao's Code

As a highly controversial historical figure, Cao Cao´s merits and demerits are still hard to be judged. Yet his tomb caused another sensation. Now, an investigation team consisted of geneticists and historians are on their way. They are trying to decode the genetic ciphers of this legendary figure with the most advanced genetic technology by tracing Cao Cao´s offspring. Can the remote ancestor be reborn in the blood of his descendents?


Speculations More

Perplexing mystery of Cao Cao´s tomb site

Allegedly, on the day Cao Cao was buried, 72 coffins were carried simutaneously out of different city gates and buried into 72 prepared tomb chambers.

Was Cao the real family name for Cao Cao?

Cao Cao´s grandfather Cao Teng was a famous eunuch in East Han Dynasty. Rumors say that Cao Teng adopted a boy and raised him up to be a senior military official. That was Cap Cao´s father Cao Song.

Cao Cao the Warlord More

Life of Cao Cao

Cao Cao was born in the county of Qiao in 155. His father Cao Song was a foster son of Cao Teng, who in turn was one of the favorite eunuchs of Emperor Huan

Two well-known battles

The Battle of Chibi (literally, "Red Cliffs") was a classic battle where the vastly outnumbered emerged as victor through strategy.


Did the powerful eunuch Cao Teng fake his ancestor out of vanity, or was Cao not Cao Cao´s real surname because his father was not adopted from Cao Teng´s own clan? Genetic analysis seems to open a door to secrets and provide more chances to solve historical mysteries. Tracking down Cao Cao´s gene is a brave scientific experiment still going on. Genetic technology employs statistical data to infer history, but the truth may never be duplicated. Cao Cao has been a hero engraved on people´s minds for 1,800 years, but speculations about his origin is far from ending.