The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang is esteemed as one of the most significant archaeological sites on the globe. The Qin warriors and horses, formed of terracotta are recognised around the world, and lure a steady stream of visitors, both local and foreign, each year. However, there is no doubt that a large part of the site remains to be discovered.
Qin Shi Huang, who is renowned as the first Chinese Emperor, inherited the throne at the young age of just 13 years. At this time, construction of his final resting place commenced. After the conclusion of his numerous conquests, an army of no less than 720,000 conscripted labourers were told to expedite the process of construction. In the end, the mausoleum was finished just in time for the emperor’s entombment. His son and successor oversaw the monarch’s final rites. Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum is situated in Lintong County, 35km to the east of Xi’an. According to the conventional geomancy of the Chinese, the shape of this area resembles the shape of a dragon, and the imperial tomb is placed at the location of the eye of this dragon. In its dimensions, the size of the mausoleum exceeds that of Egypt’s Great Pyramids.
The terracotta soldiers unearthed from the tomb have amazed people across the world. However, the other unearthed materials have their own historical merit. The distinctive Qin tiles and bricks displaying their characteristic engraved decorative motifs are found in great quantities within the tomb complex. There are also numerous secondary tombs of lesser personages in the vicinity of the primary mausoleum, created so that their occupants could accompany the monarch into the afterlife. Princes and princesses, ministers, illustrious personages and commoners alike were all entombed in these lesser vaults. There are even burial pits for exotic birds, horses and pottery figurines that were all intended to benefit the emperor in the afterlife. As excavations continue, there is no doubt that more amazing discoveries will be unearthed at this famous archaeological site in the years to come.
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