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Nine mysteries of Emperor Qin Shihuang's tomb
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17:09, June 11, 2009

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The silent guardians of the tomb of Chinese emperor Qinshihuang are among the most important archeological finds of the 20th century. In the more than three decades since the underground legions of Terra Cotta Warriors were unearthed, millions from China and around the world have visited this eighth wonder of the world.

However, until now there are still many mysteries about the tomb of Qinshihuang, which leave limitless space for people's imagination. Here are the nine most frequently questioned ones.

First: How deep is the underground palace?

According to history books like Shih Chi where the author Si Maqian comments, "down through three streams of spring", it is believed that the underground palace of Qin Shihuang's tomb is much deeper than can be reached. But how deep is it? That is still an unresolved question today.

Second: How many doors dose the underground palace have?

Actually the answer to the number of underground palace doors was put in Shih Chi thousands of years ago. However, it did not get attention from scholars.


The imagined picture of the tomb of Chinese emperor Qinshihuang.

Third: Is it true that the palace has many astronomical and geographical scenes?

According to what is recorded in the Shih Chi, the underground palace has many astronomical and geographical scenes. Is it true or not? Or, do the descriptions about the palace have some other meanings?

Fourth: Does mercury really exit in the palace or not?

The Shih Chi says Qin Shihuang created rivers and seas with mercury. And similar words appear in Han Shu, too. However, we may never know the truth about it.

Fifth: How many rare jewels and precious stones did the palace seal and what are they?

Sixth: Was the coffin of Qin Shihuang made from copper or wood?

Seventh: Whether the underground palace has empty space or not?

Eighth: About the automatic transmitter.

It is well known that Qin Shihuang had spent huge efforts on preventing thieves. According to the Shih Chi, there is hidden equipment that can launch crossbows automatically to kill intruders. If this passage of words is true, that equipment could be the earliest automatic theft-proof equipment

Ninth: Is the body of Qin Shihuang well-preserved?


The well-preserved female mummified body discovered in the 1970s gave the whole world a great shock. Since that woman would have been alive around the same time as Qin Shihuang, people started to think of the possibility of a mummified Qin Shihuang. However, all the mysteries are still unknown until such time as the underground palace can be revealed before the people.

By People's Daily Online



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