You will notice several bronze turtles during your tour of Forbidden City. Some people believe Chinese script was derived from the markings on the back of a tortoise. They symbolize longevity, power and the universe. As one of China’s four great mythological animals, the Black Tortoise or Warrior (Xuánwǔ) rules the North in the Chinese constellation. Turtles were also often used to support the memorial tablets of emperors.