Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Terracota Warriors Unearthed at Ancient Chinese Tomb Complex

I wonder - just how big is this complex?  Have the Chinese done sonar readings - or, how about using this new technology I blogged bout the other day - lidar - which is set to revolutionize archaeological discoveries and excavations -

From China Daily
114 Terracotta Warriors discovered at museum pit
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-05-12 06:52

XI'AN - A company of Terracotta Warriors - most painted in rich colors - have been unearthed at the largest pit within the mausoleum complex of the emperor who first unified China.

A total of 114 Terracotta Warriors have been found at No 1 pit, one of three, where excavation started in June last year, said Xu Weihong, head of the excavation team.

"The total area of the excavation was some 200 sq m and we were pleasantly surprised to find rich colors on Terracotta Warriors," he said.

Photos of the new find are expected to be released later this month.

The clay warriors, ranging in height from 1.8 m to 2 m, had black hair; green, white or pink faces; and black or brown eyes, the archaeologist 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," Xu said.

The latest excavation also showed that the pit had seven layers, said Liu Zhanchang, director of the archaeology division of the Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

Also, traces of burns on the clay warriors and the walls prove that the pit had been set on fire, Liu said, adding more studies were needed for details.

A number of other relics including weapons, chariots, drums and painted wooden rings were also found during the excavation.

Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC), also called the First Emperor of China, was the founder of China's first unified feudal empire, the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

The pit - located in Lintong district of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province - was discovered accidentally by farmers in March 1974.

On Oct 1, 1979, the Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses was opened to the public. It attracts millions of visitors from home and abroad every year.

The pits contain funerary objects for the mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, which is located some 1.5 km west of the pits. The clay warriors and horses are believed to represent the emperor's army.

The discovery of the Terracotta Warriors is considered of the most spectacular finds in the annals of archaeology and described as one of the wonders of the world.

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