A major excavation project revealed more than 220 terracotta warriors at the site of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, in the Shaanxi province of northwest China. The ‘newly’ found members add to the tally of more than 8,000 soldiers, along with hundreds of figures of chariots and horses, thereby rather emphasizing the sheer scale of the funerary arrangement dating from circa 210 BC. And interestingly enough, the massive scale is rather matched by elaborate variance, with the newly discovered warriors displaying ranks that range from senior military titles to the ‘lower than the lowest’.
The excavation in itself is the third major project (undergoing for a decade) focused on the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang – the first emperor of united China. Covering around 400 sq m of area, the archaeologists were able to identify the formations of the warriors based on their ranks. For example, the senior ranked soldiers were placed at the front, and they could be identified by their swords and even hair accessories. Additionally, the terracotta warriors were accompanied by around 12 horses and a plethora of weapons.
As Liu Zheng, a member of the China Cultural Relics Academy, explained –
The terracotta warriors in the mausoleum are lined up the same way as real soldiers thousands of years ago in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC) and so that archaeologists can research real military systems of the dynasty with these excavated warriors.
He further added –
When these pottery figurines were first excavated, they were mostly colored, with red belts and dark armor, but we lacked preservation skills and the colors faded. But this time improved technologies are enabling the newly found figurines to retain their vivid colors. The exhibition, excavation, and conservation of the mausoleum are proceeding at the same time.
Finally, it should also be noted that the discovery of previously unknown tombs was made in an area located outside the perimeter of the main mausoleum. One of the funerary objects – golden camel, is believed to be among the oldest of its kind ever found in China.
Source: Global Times
Image Credits: Emperor Qin Shi Emperor’s Mausoleum