Archaeologists discover tomb of 'China's Shakespeare'
Beijing: Archaeologists have discovered the tomb of ancient playwright Tang Xianzu, often described as "China's Shakespeare". A cluster of 42 tombs were found at the end of 2016, including 40 from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), in the Jiangxi Province of China.
Researchers at Jiangxi Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute in China believe a tomb identified as "M4" contained Tang and his third wife Fu, while his second wife Zhao was buried in tomb "M3." Six epitaphs, including several believed to be written by Xianzu himself have also been found. "The epitaphs can help us learn more about the calligraphy, art and literature in Tang's time," said Xu
Changqing, head of Jiangxi Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. Xianzu, born in 1550, was a famous Chinese playwright best known for four plays dubbed the "Four Dreams." His masterpiece "Peony Pavilion" tells of a romance between an official's daughter and a poor scholar, as they pursued love and freedom, state run news agency Xinhua reported.
Xianzu died the same year as British playwright William Shakespeare, and the coincidence has drawn comparisons between the two. "Although the playwrights lived 6,000 kilometres apart and never met, they both created works that left a great impact on the world," said Diana Owen, chief executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the UK.
In China there was no specific place to commemorate Xianzu, prior to this discovery, an empty tomb had been built in the People's Park in Fuzhou in the 1980s.