How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

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China’s first emperor launched an obsessive search for the elixir of life before dying aged 49 in 210 BCE, new archaeological research has revealed.

Qin Shi Huang, who created the world-famous terracotta army, ordered a nationwide hunt for the mythical potion.

Fers 1aThe quest is mentioned in 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats – used in China before paper.

They were found in 2002 at the bottom of a well in central Hunan province.

The writings contain an executive order issued by the emperor, and assorted awkward replies from regional governments who had failed to find the…

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