China unearths over 100 new terracotta warriors
|Chinese archaeologists at work in the extended excavation of the Pit One of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum in Xian [Credit: AFP]|
"The... excavation on the 200-square-metre (2,152-square-feet) site has found a total of 110 terracotta figurines," Shen Maosheng from the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum -- which oversees the tomb -- told AFP.
|The terracotta warriors are being carefully uncovered using delicate equipment to help preserve the detailed work in their original production more than 2,000 years ago [Credit: Barcroll media]|
He added that archaeologists had pinpointed the location of another 11 warriors but had yet to unearth them.
|The current excavation, which started in 2009, is the third at the Chinese site following two previous digs which were carried out in 1974 and 1985 [Credit: Barcroll media]|
Shen said experts had expected the colors on some of the warriors and wares uncovered at the site to have faded over the centuries, and were surprised to see how well preserved they still were.
|The dig at the pit is expected to carry on for another three years during which time the latest terracotta warriors will be painstakingly revealed and eventually put on public display [Credit: Barcroll media]|
Qin Shihuang -- the Qin emperor who had the army built -- presided over the unification of China in 221 BC and is seen as the first emperor of the nation.
|The third excavation covers about 200 square metres in pit number one - the largest and the most visited of the Terracotta Warriors And Horses Museum [Credit: Barcroll media]|
The news comes after a five-year archaeological survey found the Great Wall of China was more than double the previously estimated length.
The survey -- released to the public last week -- found the wall was 21,196 kilometers (13,170 miles) long, compared to an official 2009 figure of 8,851 kilometers.
Beijing authorities on Saturday also reiterated plans to open two new sections of the Great Wall to tourists and expand two other existing areas to help meet booming demand.
Source: AFP [June 11, 2012]