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How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

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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