100 more terracotta warriors found in China

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New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): Archeologists have found up to 100 terracotta warriors and an army officer at the world heritage site in Xi'an, northwest China's Shanxi Province, a month after they began a third excavation of the site.

The Terracotta Army is the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China.

The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BCE, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, near the Mausouleum of the First Qin Emperor.

Now, new excavations have revealed 100 more terracotta warriors and an army officer, a life-sized figure that was found lying on its stomach behind four chariots.

"Our most exciting discovery so far is the army officer," according to chief archeologist Xu Weihong. "We can't see its face yet, but the leather gallus on its back is distinct," he added.

Xu said the gallus was typical of army officers in the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.- 207 B.C.).

"We need extra care to bring it out of the pit and restore its original color, which may take a few months," he said.

According to Xu, the figure was originally painted in different colors.

"The original colors have faded after more than 2,000 years of decay, but a corner of the officer's robe suggested it was in colors other than the grayish clay," he said.

"Except for its broken head, the army officer was largely intact compared with other newly-discovered clay figures, most of which were found seriously damaged, some even fragmentary," Xu said.

Liu Zhancheng, head of the archeology arm of the Xi'an-based terracotta museum, estimated that the year-long excavation would hopefully unearth about 150 terracotta warriors.

Richly colored clay figures were unearthed from the mausoleum of Qinshihuang, the first emperor of a united China, in the previous two excavations, but once they were exposed to the air they began to lose their luster and turn an oxidized grey.

The 230 by 62-meter No. 1 pit, which is currently under excavation, was believed to contain about 6,000 life-sized terracotta figures, more than 1,000 of which were found in previous excavations, said the museum's curator Wu Yongqi. (ANI)

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