Emperor Quin Shi Huang's deadly tomb stumps archaeologists
Archaeologists working on the site told Spanish newspaper El Palais: "It's like having a present all wrapped at home, knowing that inside is what you always wanted, and not being able to open it".
Legend has it the three-storey high tomb is filled with weapons ranging from loaded crossbows to pools of poisonous mercury. And it's on an enormous scale.
The 56sq km buried complex is guarded by armies of soldiers. More than 6000 of the statues have been discovered so far.
|Quin Shi Huang's funerary palace [Credit: TravelChina.com]|
The 76m high mound was engineered to last. An ancient drainage system keeps the soil dry and therefore preserves Huang's funerary offerings.
Expert on the Quin Shi Huang burial site Guo Zhikun insists it is possible the traps are real, and are still active.
|Chinese archaeologists in the work of restoration of the famous terracotta warriors, in 2007.[Credit: EFE]|
"The craftsmen who built the crossbows built traps so that if a looter came, they were fired immediately," he said.
Site samples prove that there are high levels of mercury in the soil. The scrolls describe deadly "rivers of quicksilver" intended to poison any intruders.
The Chinese government is yet to decide if it will allow excavation of the funerary palace.
Source: News Com [January 10, 2013]