Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Terracotta Army discovery in Shaanxi

The Terracotta Army, discovered in northwest China's Shaanxi Province in 1974, is a collection of soldier and horse statues depicting the armies of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang.
Recently archeologists have discovered in the mausoleum complex a number of painted items, pottery and crossbow containers.
Two large-scale excavations have been carried out since the first pit of the mausoleum complex was discovered in 1974. The first excavation covered an area of roughly 2-thousand square meters, resulting in the discovery of 8 war chariots, 32 horses, and almost 11-hundred Terracotta sculptures and relics. A large amount of weapons and architecture remains were also unearthed.
The second excavation was conducted in 1986, covering an area of around two thousand square meters also.
The third excavation of the 1st Pit of Qin Shi Huang's necropolis began last June. Pit One is the largest among the three pits. It is around 230 meters long, 62 meters wide and 5 meters deep.

Archeologists explain that the 3rd excavation is necessary for scientific work aimed at knowing more of the army formation and the exact number of horses, infantrymen, cavalrymen, and chariots buried centuries ago.
So far more than 120 pottery statues have been unearthed, and they vary in height between 1.8 meters and 2 meters. No two soldiers are alike. Some still have paint on their faces.
Among all the unearthed items, one that stands out is a crossbow container, and a shield made of leather.
The crossbow container is largely intact, despite years of weathering.
There're also two painted drumheads found in Pit One. Unfortunately the upper side of the drum is not in good condition due to sedimentation.

Source: CCTV.com

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