Sunday, May 16, 2010

114 Terracotta Warriors Excavated in China

In 1974 in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, farmers drilling a well one and a half miles from the unexcavated tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang (259-210 B.C.) discovered terracotta soldiers and horses. Since that discovery, there have been three archaeological digs that have thus far unearthed more than one thousand of the estimated eight thousand terracotta soldiers guarding the tomb.

The latest group of unearthed soldiers, mostly infantrymen, were found at Pit 1, the largest of the three pits at the excavation site. The dig began in June 2009 and was concentrated to a 656 square foot area of the main pit.

The soldiers, considered to be an "Eighth Wonder of the World" are life-sized standing over six feet tall with black hair, black or brown eyes and green, white or pink faces.

Many of the warriors had burn marks and were broken into pieces. Liu Zhanchang, director of the Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the burn marks offer evidence that the pit was at one time set afire. Research is currently being done to determine the date of the blaze that marked the figures.

Archaeologists are estimating that when Pit 1 has been fully estimated they will have found as many as six thousand more terracotta warriors and 180 or more chariot horses.

For more information on this interesting find and to see photos of the terracotta warriors you can read the MSNBC article or the article.

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