There Are 8,000 Known Terracotta Warriors. But Archaeologists in China Just Found More Than 200 Others
At the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, nearly 200 more warriors from the ancient China Terracotta Army were unearthed.
The remains of the two chariots, 12 clay horses, bronze swords, arcades and decorative helmets on the site were also found by archeologists.
During the recent excavations of the No. 1 pit in an area covering 400 square meters (4 300 square feet), the finding, which was confirmed by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Most of the newly-found warriors were divided into two groups. One group is carrying poles, while the other carries bows, by Shen Maosheng who led the digging.
The Terracotta Army was built around 2,200 years ago to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife. The army, which consists of an estimated 8,000 soldiers, over 500 horses and 130 chariots, was assembled in three main pits near to the emperor’s mausoleum.
It was first discovered in 1974 by farmers digging in northwest China. Excavations soon revealed a huge complex with thousands of soldiers, each with individual features.
The tomb is believed to span around 38 square miles and, along with the Terracotta Army, contains a mass grave of laborers and craftsmen. The complex is believed to have taken around 30 years to build.
Archaeologists launched a new excavation at No.1 Pit in 2009. The 200 new warriors were found as part of this effort. This project aimed to better understand the military service system and equipment used by the Qin Dynasty army.
According to Xinhua, No.1 Pit contains 6,000 clay warriors and horses. It is estimated to be 750-feet long and 200-feet wide.
Scientists are still working to understand how this vast army was created. Last year, researchers led by Marcos Martinon-Torres, from the Department of Archaeology at the U.K.’s University of Cambridge, announced that the weapons at the site had been remarkably well-preserved because of the natural conditions in the pits where they were buried. Previously, it had been suggested that they had been coated in some sort of advanced, anti-rust technology.
“In some ways the Terracotta Army feels like an extraordinary playground for archaeologists: It is large, complex, well-preserved, meticulously excavated and great fun,” he told Newsweek at the time. “It raises countless questions that demand tailor-made collaborative approaches and keep all of us amused.”
While the Qin Dynasty lasted just 15 years, it was the first time China was ruled as a unified country. As well as the Terracotta Army, Emperor Qin Shi Huang was also responsible for the construction of the Great Wall of China.