A worker clean soil at the entrance to the tomb. [Photo: Yangtse Evening News]A recently excavated tomb in Nanjing has been confirmed to be the grave of Zheng He, a eunuch from the early Ming Dynasty who led historic voyages to Southeast Asia and eastern Africa.
The tomb was discovered accidentally on June 18th by workers at a construction site near Zutang Mountain that also holds the tombs of many other Ming Dynasty eunuchs, the Yangtse Evening News reported.
The tomb was 8.5 meters long and 4 meters wide and was built with blue bricks, which archaeologists said were only used in structures belonging to dignitaries during the time of Zheng He.
But experts believed his remains were not placed in the tomb because of the long distance between Nanjing and India, where he died during a visit in 1433.
Born in 1371, Zheng He was an excellent navigator and diplomat in the Ming Dynasty. He led the royal fleet to southwest Asia and east Africa on seven occasions from 1405 to 1433, nearly a century before Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent in 1492.