Henan Museum
Wu Zetian gold strip
Edit: Gp
Time: 2023-04-14 11:02:00
Period: Tang dynasty ( A.D.700)
Provenance: Discovered in the northern side of Junji Peak of Mount Songshan, Dengfeng county, 1982
Measurements: Length36.2cm,Width 8cm,Weight223.5g

This gold strip is in the shape of a rectangular tablet, made of 96% pure gold. There is an inscription in 63 double-outlined characters on the piece, which conveys the following:

Empress Wu Zhao of the Great Zhou (the title Great Sagely Empress Wu Zetian was adopted after she abdicated) in her piety and faith to the true principles of Daoism, is desirous of longevity without aging and to ascend to the state of immortality. Thus she has entrusted a great man to come to the Heavenly Gate upon Mount Song, to deliver this gold strip, entreating the Three Offices and Nine Bureaus to absolve her of any wrong doing. Submitted on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar, in the year AD 700.

The Wu Zetian Gold Strip of Absolution is a rare example of a mobile and visible relic of the empress. It enhances our knowledge and research on the course of Empress Wu's life, and the development of her ideological direction in later life, an invaluable piece of material evidence.