Chinese archaeologists have discovered terracotta warriors painted in rich colours in the mausoleum complex of the country’s first emperor.
China Daily said the company of 114 terracotta soldiers was found at Number One pit, one of three such pits in the grave complex in China’s central city of X’ian. Xu Weihong, the excavation team leader said:
The total area of the excavation was some 200 square metres and we were pleasantly surprised to find rich colours on terracotta warriors.
He said the clay figures, which are between 1,8 and two metres tall, had black hair, green, white or pink faces and black or brown eyes. Xu said:
It was hard work to restore the clay warriors as they were broken into pieces. It took us at least 10 days to restore one.
Traces of burns on the warriors and the walls show the pit had been set on fire. The Independent said the Chinese people burned the tomb complex to express their hatred of the emperor and many of the terracotta statues of soldiers had been smashed. However, China Daily quoted Liu Zhanchang, director of the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum archaeology division as saying more studies were needed.
Other finds include weapons, chariots, drums and painted wooden rings.
Qin Shihuang (also written Chin Shi Huang Ti) who reigned from 259-210 B.C., was the First Emperor of China, so called because he was the first to unify the country. His dynasty ended soon after his death and was succeeded by the great Han Dynasty.
Farmers found the first parts of the vast mausoleum complex in 1974, leading to one of the most spectacular finds in the history of archaeology.