The early work of an iconic calligraphy master of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) was found for the first time in an archaeological excavation, according to an announcement at a Friday news conference in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province.
An epitaph from an unearthed tomb in the Xixian New Area, on the city’s outskirts, was written by Yan Zhenqing (709-784), according to the name inscribed on the stele.
Yan is considered to have been one of the most important calligraphers in Chinese fine art history. His regular script, commonly known as Yan Script, attracted many imitators in later times.
The epitaph with Yan’s calligraphy belongs to a woman and was part of a graveyard of a family of nobles. The woman, named Luo Wanshun, died in 746, according to the epitaph. She was the wife of Yuan Daqian, a 7th-generation grandson of a prince of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) and a military commander.