220 More Earthenware Terracotta 'Warriors' Are Uncovered!

The ranks of the 'Terracotta Army' that guards the mausoleum of the First Emperor of China has grown as archaeologists reported recently finding 220 new warriors.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang's tomb lies buried at the heart of a 249-foot-tall (76 meters) mound in Xi'an's Lintong District, Shannxi province.

The necropolis surrounding the unopened tomb harbors more than 8,200 of the earthenware sculptures, which were first uncovered in 1974 by local farmers.

The tomb has four main pits, each of which were lain east of Emperor Qin's tomb, as if to protect him from the states to the east that he had conquered in life .

The latest, third, excavation of pit one which has been underway for a decade has exposed around 4300 square feet (400 sq-m).

The newest batch of Terracotta soldiers come from five different ranks, including a previously unknown one dubbed 'lower than the lowest'.

Among the other recent finds from the necropolis include a golden camel figurine which is believed to be the oldest of its kind known from China.

'The terracotta warriors in the mausoleum are lined up the same way as real soldiers thousands of years ago in the Qin Dynasty (221206 BC),' China Cultural Relics Academy member Liu Zheng told.

'So, archaeologists can research real military systems of the dynasty with these excavated warriors,' he added.

For example, senior military officers in the Qin dynasty stood at the front of their formations with their swords in their hands, Mr Liu explained.

In addition, he added, the senior officers wore different hair accessories to those of their subordinates. 

Alongside the new soldiers, archaeologists also unearthed weapons and twelve horses during this latest run of excavations within the tomb.

The new terracotta soldiers also have well-preserved original colorations.

'When these pottery figurines were first excavated, they were mostly colored with red belts and dark armour but we lacked preservation skills and the colors faded,' Mr Liu said. 'But, this time, improved technologies are enabling the newly found figurines to retain their vivid colors.'

The Terracotta Army is just one part of the wider necropolis complex surrounding the emperor's tomb, which archaeological surveys have suggested covers some 38 square miles (98 square kilometers).

The necropolis is believed to represent a scaled-down version of Qin's imperial palace complete with offices, halls, stables and even a park.

Source: dailymail

Editor: Crystal H

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