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Chinese noblewoman of the ninth century, who loved to play Polo on donkeys, buried in these animals.
An unusual discovery, described the journal Antiquity, was made by a team of archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis. According to experts, this is the first proof of the existence of Polo on donkeys in China. Previously this game was only known from historical texts. The researchers found the bones of a donkey to the tomb of Cui Shi, gentlewoman, who died in 878 ad, in XI’an, China. The presence of donkeys in the tomb of a rich woman was unexpected. According to scientists, this is a very rare opportunity to understand the role of donkeys in East Asian societies.
Donkeys were the first animals in Africa and Western Eurasia, but historians know little about their use in East Asia. From a rich and noble women had no obvious reason to have a donkey or take it with you to the afterlife. However, at 618 907 ad Polo was the favorite sport of the Royal and noble families in China. Play it on great horses, but sometimes it was very dangerous, so some nobles preferred to play “donkey Polo”. Although both forms of Polo are mentioned in the historical literature, Polo is the only form that is reflected in art and artifacts. Analysis of the remains of donkey from the tomb of Cui Shi says that animals were used for playing Polo. Probably the woman wanted to engage in their favorite sport, and after his death, so he bequeathed to bury himself with the donkeys.
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