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China uncovers ancient palace inside emperor’s tomb

China uncovers ancient palace inside emperor’s tomb
The Chinese historian Sima Qian, writing a century after the First Emperor's death, wrote that it took 700,000 men to construct the emperor's mausoleum.
The British historian John Man points out that this figure is larger than any city of the world at that time and calculates that the foundations could have been built by 16,000 men in two years.

While Sima Qian never mentioned the terracotta army, the statues were discovered by a group of farmers digging wells on March 29, 1974.The soldiers were created with a series of mix-and-match clay molds and then further individualized by the artists' hand. Han Purple was also used on some of the warriors. There are around 6,000 Terracotta Warriors and their purpose was to protect the Emperor in the afterlife from evil spirits. Also among the army are chariots and 40,000 real bronze weapons.
Qin Shi Huang's tomb

One of the first projects the young king accomplished while he was alive was the construction of his own tomb. In 215 BC Qin Shi Huang ordered General Meng Tian with 300,000 men to begin construction. Other sources suggested he ordered 720,000 unpaid laborers to build his tomb to specification. Again, given John Man's observation regarding populations of the time, these historical estimates are debatable. The main tomb (located at 34°22′52.75″N 109°15′13.06″E) containing the emperor has yet to be opened and there is evidence suggesting that it remains relatively intact. Sima Qian's description of the tomb includes replicas of palaces and scenic towers, "rare utensils and wonderful objects", 100 rivers made with mercury, representations of "the heavenly bodies", and crossbows rigged to shoot anyone who tried to break in.The tomb was built on Li Mountain, which is only 30 kilometers away from Xi'an. Modern archaeologists have located the tomb, and have inserted probes deep into it. The probes revealed abnormally high quantities of mercury, some 100 times the naturally occurring rate, suggesting that some parts of the legend are credible. Secrets were maintained, as most of the workmen who built the tomb were killed.


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