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Ancient Xi'an still a treasure

By Zhang Zhao (China Daily)

15:44, June 07, 2013

About 8,000 terracotta soldiers have been unearthed but archaeologists believe there are more of them still buried underground. (China Daily)

With a history of some 6,000 years, Xi'an is the right place for a treasure hunter - along every single step there could be historic relics under your feet, said local residents.

In 1970, construction workers found in the south of the city a large hoard of gold and silverware produced in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). More than 1,000 other relics were excavated later.

Just four years later, local farmers near the city made an even more stunning discovery - the world-famous Terracotta Warriors - when they were digging a well in their field.

Today one of the best-known tourist attractions nationwide and a must-see in the city, the site of the giant underground "army" was actually buried only 5 meters beneath the earth.

Emperor Qinshihuang (259-210 BC), the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), believed that he would enter another world after death, so he gave orders to build an army of sculptures, warriors that would protect him in the afterlife.

All of the figures were handmade in the actual size of real people, wagons and horses. With delicate facial expressions, hair and other details, no two are exactly the same.

Archaeologists have so far discovered three vaults with altogether 8,000 terracotta warriors, 130 wagons and 520 horses, but they are just a small part of the entire army. More remain still buried.

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