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Terracotta Army: Exploring what lies beneath

06-09-2012 13:01 BJT Special Report:3rd Exploration of Terracotta Army Unveiled |

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The Terracotta Army, located on the periphery of the Mausoleum Tomb of the First Qin Emperor, serves as a garrison of the grand tomb. In 1974 the discovery of the collection of terracotta sculptures unveiled the world famous necropolis. Let’s take a look at the explorations of the terracotta army over the past 4 decades.

The Terracotta Army was discovered in the spring of 1974, to the east of Xi’an in Shaanxi province.

A group of farmers struck upon pieces of terracotta figures while digging a water well, around 1.5 kilometers east of the Qin Emperor’s tomb mound at Mount Lishan.

This discovery drew in Chinese archaeologists. What they unearthed, was the largest collection of pottery figurines ever found in China.

Warriors, chariots and horses - frozen in time.

But no one expected their excavations to last for the next forty years.

Archaeologists uncovered huge pits they described as "boundless".

So far, three have been opened up.

It is estimated that the Terracotta Army is composed of over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses.... Most of them still buried deep.

Before 2009, archaeologists conducted two major explorations in pit No.1.

The first lasted from 1978 to 1984. Over 1,000 terracotta warriors - many of them broken - were unearthed. The sculptures were fixed and arranged in lines.

In 1985, a second excavation started... This time, archaeologists found warriors and chariots sculptures, most of them painted in bright colours. But the excavation lasted for only one year.

It proved difficult to preserve the colours once they were exposed to air and sunlight outside the tomb. So the digging stopped.

It wasn’t until 2009 that a third exploration of pit No. 1 began, bringing to the suface small items like scabbards, shields and drums.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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