When Was the Terracotta Army Discovered?

The Terracotta Army is a group of terracotta sculptures depicting armies of Qin Shi Huang. Here Shi Huang was the first emperor of China. It is a sculpture of vast funerary art buried with Qui Shi Huang in 209 to 210 BCE. The sculpture protected the emperor after his death.

History of the terracotta army

The historian Sima Qian described the construction of the tomb in his work called Shiji, from 90 to 145 BCE. The construction of the mausoleum began in 246 BCE. This is when Emperor Qui Shi Huang took over the throne and 700,000 workers did the construction. Geographer Li Daoyuan in his paper called Shui Jing Zhu reveals that the emperor loved the region of Mount Li. This is due to the fact that the region was famous for its jade mines, the auspicious geology and the gold-rich North. Therefore, this is why the first emperor chose him as a burial place.

The historian Sima Qian alludes to the fact that the first emperor was buried with officers, towers, palaces and precious artifacts. Furthermore, Sima Qian reveals that the rivers that flow 100 were imitated with mercury and above them was the ceiling decorated with stars, so below was the characteristics of the earth.

Qin Shi Huang’s burial ground contained high levels of mercury. This gave credibility to Sima Qian’s account. However, other historical reports have revealed that Xiang Yu ransacked the tomb. Xiang Yu was a contender for the throne after the death of Qin Shi Huang. Later reports indicate that there was no truth in the charges because the tomb was intact.

Discovery of the terracotta army

The figures of the Terracotta Army date back to the end of the third century BCE. Local farmers discovered the figures in 1974, in the Lintong district, in Xi’an and in Shaanxi province. The peasants were sinking a water well, 1.5 kilometers east of the Emperor’s tomb on Mount Lishan. The area is full of underground streams and springs. For many years, the reports had revealed terracotta sculptures and necropolis pieces Here as bricks, tiles and pieces of masonry.

The discovery of terracotta figures has aroused the interest of Chinese archaeologists for further investigation. This investigation allowed them to reveal the historical group of great ceramic figures never found in China. Since then, a complex museum is located around the area that encloses the largest pit. The sculptures are found based on their height and their duties, where the generals are tall. Qui Shi Huang’s sculptures have horses, warriors and chariots.

Warriors guard the tomb in the east. There are reddish, sandy soils five meters high accumulated in the areas surrounding the buildings. Archaeologists have also found several graves when the prospectors hit terracotta fragments on the funeral mountain of Mount Li. According to archaeologists, the tombs date back to 18 th to 19 th centuries.

According to 2007 estimates, the three holes served as a tomb for the terracotta army. The holes consist of 130 carts, 150 cavalry horses, 520 horses and 8,000 soldiers. Most of the remaining army was buried in pits near the Qui Shi Huang mausoleum. Moreover, other boxes have revealed the figures of officials, musicians, strong men and buried acrobats.


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