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Exploration of Terracotta Army: The floor of Pit No.1 cleared during 3rd excavation

06-09-2012 12:50 BJT Special Report:3rd Exploration of Terracotta Army Unveiled |

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The site of Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum in Xi’an is definitely one of the most visited tourist hotspots in the world.

Since they were first discovered back in 1974, the terracotta warriors and horses from the Qin Dynasty have not only contributed the area’s tourism sector, but has also provided plenty of detailed artefacts for China’s historical and military studies.

Now twenty years after its second excavation in the 1980’s, scholars are revealing their latest discovery on Saturday, which also falls on China’s Cultural Heritage Day.

The floor of the Pit Number One has almost been cleared during its third excavation. More than 100 Terracotta Warriors have been unearthed in this session so far, including a large number of painted pottery figurines, which were extremely rare in previous excavations.

Shen Maosheng, Captain Pit No.1 Excavation Team, said, "Now you can see the hand of a coloured terracotta soldier. The total number of painted figurines found in this session has surpassed our expectation, this is quite a surprise to all of us. "

The floor of the Pit Number One has almost been cleared during its third excavation. More than 100
Terracotta Warriors have been unearthed in this session so far, including a large number of painted
pottery figurines, which were extremely rare in previous excavations.

The third large-scale excavation of the Terracotta sites started in 2009. The excavation site only covers about 200 square metres, because archaeologists are working hard to make sure no damage is inflicted on artefacts, causing the process to move at a slow pace.

Cao Wei, Director, Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Park, said, "The excavation pit has been damaged before. Judging by the status of the clay, there must have been a flood here, and many figurines have burn marks on them. Besides water and fire, there was human-caused damage as well. So now we’re trying to figure out which damage came first. This can be key to local historical studies."

Yuan Zhongyi, Director, Museum of Terracotta Soldiers & Horses, said, "The ancient soldiers are the reflection of history. Many foreign archaeologists were shocked when they visited this site, they haven’t seen anything like this. "

In previous years, most of the pottery soldiers, horses and carts were severely damaged as they were being unearthed. Therefore, the protection and restoration of unearthed artefacts remains the key task for archaeologists. Other new findings of the third excavation include architectural structures, weapons and musical instruments.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CCTV.CN

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