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China starts new terracotta army dig

China launched a second excavation project on Thursday on a burial pit in the ancient capital of Xi'an, where an army of terracotta warriors guards the mausoleum of China's first emperor.

China starts new terracotta army dig
China starts new terracotta army dig
A new excavation project started today to look into Pit 2 on the Terracotta Warriors
 site in central China [Credit: China News Service/Zhang Yuan]
Archaeologists plan to excavate about 200 square meters of Pit No.2, located near the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang, founder of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), according to Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum.

Archaeologist Yuan Zhongyi estimated that the burial pit has 1,400 clay figures and horses and 89 chariots waiting to be unearthed.

China starts new terracotta army dig
China starts new terracotta army dig
Experts have previously unearthed a large number of well-preserved painted 
figures from the pit [Credit: China News Service/Zhang Yuan]
Yuan described Pit No.2 as "the essence of the terracotta warriors," for its mix of terracotta chariots, cavalry and archers.

"You can find all the kneeling archers, soldiers and cavalry in the No.2 pit," Yuan said. "Their colorful paint is also relatively well preserved."

China starts new terracotta army dig
China starts new terracotta army dig
China starts new terracotta army dig
Archaeologists on this mission expect to discover over 1,300 figurines as well as 
89 wooden war carriages [Credit: China News Service/Zhang Yuan]
The No.2 pit was famed for the unearthing of several colorful warriors, including a rare specimen with a green face, indicating that the army was once painted various colors that faded throughout the ages.

Located in Xi'an in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, the 56-square-km Mausoleum of Qinshihuang is the world's largest underground mausoleum. An army of more than 7,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses was discovered at the site in 1974.

First excavation began on Pit No.2 in 1994 and was halted in 2008 due to a lack of personnel and advanced protective technologies.

Source: Xinhua [May 01, 2015]
TANN

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