45 Shaanxi graves may reveal real Terracotta Warriors

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 6, 2014
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The 45 graves excavated last year in Shaanxi Province are assumed to be the tombs of the handicraft men who once created the world-acclaimed Terracotta Warriors discovered near the mausoleum of China's first Emperor Qin Shihuang (260-210 B.C.) in the province's suburbs.

The 45 graves recently excavated in Shaanxi may reveal the mystery of the craftsmen who once created the Terracotta Warriors. [Photo/Chinanews.com]


Five kilometers east to the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the 45 graves are filled with the evidence of curled legs, a unique pose of those deceased buried during the Qin Dynasty.

In spite of the comparatively low social statuses demonstrated by the small scale and meager decoration of the graves, the potteries discovered there are inscribed with the Chinese character "li" (丽), which indicated that the owners of the tombs hailed from Liyi Town, a place used to accommodate numerous craftsmen and construction workers who were designated to build the mausoleum of Emperor Qin.

Although the identities of the tomb owners still needs to be confirmed, Sun Weigang, deputy researcher with the Shaanxi Province Archaeological Research Institute, said the character "li" is an important factor in solving the graves' mystery.

According to the "Shi Ji" or "Records of the Grand Historian," Liyi Town was built in 231 B.C., right near the mausoleum, with some 30,000 families moving in.

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