Archeologists have also excavated bronze weapons, 12 clay horses, and traces of two chariots at the world-famous site
The everlasting army of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang is a bit larger than previously thought. During new excavations, archeologists have discovered an additional 200 clay figures called the terracotta warriors in one of his mausoleum’s pits.
The excavations taking place between 2009 and 2019 in the ancient capital of Xianyang also revealed numerous weapons, such as colored shields, bronze swords, and bows. The archeologists also found 12 clay horses, traces of two chariots, storage boxes, and even building sites.
According to Shen Maosheng, who led the excavation, most of the newly discovered terracotta figures can be divided into two categories based on the different gestures.
One group of warriors is holding pole weapons, bending their right arms with half clenched fists. The second group is carrying bows, with their right arms hanging naturally.
Shen added that all of the figures have distinct expressions, hairstyles, and physical features.
In addition, the figures stand in different positions in the pit, indicating their different tasks in the army.
Protect the emperor in his afterlife
Accidentally unveiled in 1974 by villagers in the Lintong County, outside Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, the mausoleum of the Qin emperor has become one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of modern times.
According to ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian, the work on the mausoleum began in 246 BCE soon after Qin ascended the throne to become the first emperor of China. The ceremonial burial with all the terracotta warriors took place between 210–209 BCE. It is estimated that over 700,000 workers took part in the project.
With over 8,000 clay soldiers that should protect the emperor in his afterlife, 130 chariots with 520 horses, the site ranks as one of the premier tourist attractions within the whole country, along with the Great Wall of China and Beijing’s Forbidden City.