Friday, May 14, 2010

Colorful Restored Xi'an Terracotta Warrior

More news on those 114 terracotta warriors uncovered in China -- including a questionable photo.

Quoting from a report at Digital Journal:  Xu Weihong, the excavation team leader said:

The total area of the excavation was some 200 square metres and we were pleasantly surprised to find rich colours on terracotta warriors.

He said the clay figures, which are between 1,8 and two metres tall, had black hair, green, white or pink faces and black or brown eyes. Xu said:

It was hard work to restore the clay warriors as they were broken into pieces. It took us at least 10 days to restore one.

Hmmmm, I'm not saying these colors aren't right, but I'm wondering how come the original warriors discovered in 1974 didn't have these colors???  Or did they but the Chinese archaeologists who excavated them were so inexperienced (and/or inept) at the time that they failed in attempts to preserve them???

And, if these newly-discovered 114 terracottas were mostly smashed and partially burned as stated in the reports at Digital Journal and The Independent, how come it only took 10 days to put one back together again?  Fully restored?  Where are the seams?  Where are the "holes" where pieces couldn't be found that fit?  This does not look like any "restoration" I've seen - it's far too "perfect!"  Interesting.

Image - from Digital Journal: This photo shows the colours of the terracotta warriors as reconstructed by experts. Photos of the new finds have not yet been released.  flickr/Shadowfoot [Does this mean it could be a fake?]

Article from The Independent:
114 terracotta warriors discovered in the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
By Rebecca Thompson
Thursday, 13 May 2010

114 Terracotta Warriors, and several artefacts, have been discovered in the mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The warriors were discovered in the largest of the pits, No 1 pit, and retained some of the richly-coloured paint that all of the warriors would have displayed originally.

Photos of the warriors, which are mostly infantrymen, have not yet been released, but the researchers describe them as between 1.8 and 2 metres tall, and brightly coloured. Their eyes and hair colour were naturalistic – most had black hair and either brown or black eyes. Their faces varied between white, pink and green, and archaeologists have noted that the different face colours are matched to different costumes.

Despite retaining their original paint, the warriors were not in a perfect state of preservation – most were broken into pieces. Liu Zhanchang, Director of the Archaeology Division of the Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses, also revealed that the warriors, and the walls of the museum, showed burn marks.

The mausoleum was ransacked by the people of China after the death of the much-hated emperor, and many warriors were smashed to pieces. It’s possible that these newly-discovered figures could have been damaged in the same way, and that the vandals even attempted to burn the whole pit of warriors. Global Times reports that researchers are considering the possibility that the figures were damaged by General Xiang Yu, who purportedly raided the mausoleum less than five years after the death of the First Emperor.

Fortunately, researchers have been able to restore the broken warriors. [What? All of them??? Just when was this discovery made, and how many "restorers" have been working on this project and for how long?] A number of other relics including weapons, chariots, drums and painted wooden rings were also found during the excavation, as well as a well-preserved box, the purpose of which remains a mystery.

The mausoleum was discovered in the 1970s near Xi’an, in China’s Shaanxi Province, and contains the un-excavated tomb of China’s first emperor. It is thought that the tomb may contain toxic levels of mercury, the substance that the emperor believed would make him immortal, and there are no plans as yet to continue the excavation into the actual tomb. The third excavation project began at the site in June 2009, and has resulted in a number of important finds, including the discovery last year of a number of teenage terracotta soldiers.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...