Chinese workers digging a well in made a startling discovery: thousands of life-size terracotta figures of an army prepared for battle. Now called the Terracotta Army or Terracotta Warriors, the figures are located in three pits near the city of Xi'an in China's Shaanxi province. The pits are situated less than one mile to the northeast of a pyramid-shaped mausoleum constructed for the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang B. The three pits a fourth pit was unfinished contain an estimated 8, life-size terracotta figures of which about 2, have been excavated. The figures were created to serve the emperor in the afterlife and include a mix of chariots, cavalry, armored soldiers and archers. There are high-ranking officers including nine generals found so far and one of the pits, No.
The Discovery and Excavation of Qin's Terra-cotta Army
The clay army flanks the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang , whose short but formidable reign lasted from to B. Archaeologists estimate that some 7, warriors , more than 2, of which have since been excavated, were interred alongside the emperor. A fourth pit discovered during early digs turned out to be empty , suggesting the burial project was abandoned before it could be finished. Shen Maosheng , the researcher who headed the excavation, tells Xinhua that most of the newly discovered warriors were sculpted into one of two positions: either clutching pole weapons, with their right arms bent and fists partially clenched, or carrying bows, with their right arms hanging at ease. The figures were arranged in different positions within the pit based on their military tasks; details on their armor and clothing point to their rank. Archaeologists also discovered a trove of other relics, among them 12 clay horses, the remains of two chariots, colored shields, bronze swords, bows, weapons stored in boxes and traces of building sites.
Mar 29, 1974 CE: Terra-Cotta Warriors Found
During the decades of archaeological work at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, the number of unearthed relics is more than , And the excavated part is only the outermost part of the mausoleum, and so it is hard to estimate how many treasures there might be inside. However, according to historical literature, Li Si, the Qin Prime Minister who presided over the construction of the coffin pit, described the tomb as a hollow one, with considerable space around the coffin. It depends on the future excavation for us to know the actual situation.
So the construction of the Pits was damaged during the fire. The collapsed roof pressed the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses into fragments. None of them was completed when unearthed.