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martes, 16 de junio de 2009

New Terra-Cotta Warriors Dig Begins in China

Archaeologists have begun excavating more of the famed terra-cotta warriors, life-size clay figures created to guard the tomb of China's first emperor. Video.


Unedited Transcript

Chinese archaeologists have started to excavate more of the life-size terra-cotta warriors at the famed ancient tomb of the country's first emperor.

Chinas state TV on Sunday showed archaeologists uncovering more of the elaborately carved soldiers to add to the 1-thousand plus statues already excavated.

SOUNDBITE: (Mandarin) Cao Wei, Deputy Curator, Qinshihuang Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Musuem "From this site, we can see in one hole two horses. We already knew that these two horses existed here. In the last two excavations we never came across these two horses. Of course, perhaps there might be more unsolved mysteries."

The new dig, which started on Saturday, is the third undertaken since the tomb was first uncovered in 1974 and will focus on a 2,100-square foot patch within the tomb's main pit that holds the bulk of the warriors.

Exhibited where they were found, and protected inside a massive building, the tomb and its accompanying museum are among China's biggest tourist draws.

An exhibition of 15 figures and dozens of artifacts from the tomb broke ticket sale records when it traveled to London and California. The exhibit is now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and in November, moves to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC.

At between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 and a half feet tall, the statues weigh between 3 and four hundred pounds each. In all, the tomb's three pits are thought to hold 7-thousand life-sized figures. It is believed they were created by

Emperor Qin Shihuang to protect him in the afterlife.

No two figures are alike, and craftsmen are believed to have modeled them after a real army.

A fourth pit at the tomb was apparently left empty by its builders, while Qin's actual burial chamber has yet to be excavated.

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