China has unearthed the ruins of an ancient palace near the tomb of the country's first emperor that was already famed for its terracotta soldiers, state media said on Saturday.
The discovery is the latest at the mausoleum, which dates back more than two millennia and became one of the greatest modern archaeological finds after a peasant digging a well stumbled upon the life-size warriors in 1974.
The palace "is the largest complex ever found at the cemetery", the Xinhua news agency said, citing Sun Weigang, a researcher at the archaeology institute of northern Shaanxi province where the site is located. Qin Shihuang, a ruler during the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC), presided over China's unification and declared himself its first emperor. The Qin ruler was based in Xianyang, near the city of Xian, which served as the seat of power for successive dynasties and is today a provincial capital and tourist hotspot due to its many historical sites.
One of the first projects the young king accomplished while he was alive was the construction of his own tomb. In 215 BC Qin Shi Huang ordered General Meng Tian with 300,000 men to begin construction. Other sources suggested he ordered 720,000 unpaid laborers to build his tomb to specification. Again, given John Man's observation regarding populations of the time (see paragraph above), these historical estimates are debatable. The main tomb (located at 34°22′52.75″N 109°15′13.06″E) containing the emperor has yet to be opened and there is evidence suggesting that it remains relatively intact. Sima Qian's description of the tomb includes replicas of palaces and scenic towers, "rare utensils and wonderful objects", 100 rivers made with mercury, representations of "the heavenly bodies", and crossbows rigged to shoot anyone who tried to break in. The tomb was built on Li Mountain, which is only 30 kilometers away from Xi'an. Modern archaeologists have located the tomb, and have inserted probes deep into it. The probes revealed abnormally high quantities of mercury, some 100 times the naturally occurring rate, suggesting that some parts of the legend are credible. Secrets were maintained, as most of the workmen who built the tomb were killed.
Originally posted by Dembow
Emperor Qin Shi Huang must have had many enemies, he wanted his army to protect him even after death.
The terracota army is amazing. I wonder, since no two soldiers are alike, could it be a replica of his actual army?
The palace is very interesting. Hope it doesn't take decades to take a better look.
Thanks for the link OP. SnF.
While China’s first emperor is being buried according to his wishes, a power struggle rages outside the tomb. By tradition, the oldest son should have become the emperor but several ministers want a younger son on the throne. The others are assassinated and there is a slaughter.
The emperor is also not going alone into the afterlife. While his chosen successors are being assassinated, hundreds of his favorite concubines will stay with their master and die with him. The tomb’s designers and builders will be sealed in the tomb too. Everyone who knows the way dies.
Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by Druscilla
I can only imagine what the site will look like. If it's anything like what we've seen already in known history it should be completely mind blowing considering it was the first the largest and possibly like many sites we see in human history which often appear to be more sophisticated the farther back we go.