Archeologists have identified the exact location of the underground mausoleum of China's first emperor, sources at the Ministry of Science and Technology said in Beijing Thursday.
The find was made by members of an electromagnetic survey team under the "863" hi-technology program, and was checked and accepted by the science ministry Thursday.
The underground mausoleum of the emperor who first unified China, Qinshihuang (259-210 BC), is exactly under the mound which has long been thought to mark the spot. The research group has also determined that water has not entered the main coffin chamber, said Liu Shiyi, director of the group.
According the survey, the mausoleum, is in the form of an "underground palace," while the coffin chamber is 80 m long and 50 m wide.
"But we will have no idea of what is buried there until a full-scale excavation is launched," said Liu, also a scientist at the China Geological Survey Bureau (CGS).
Located near the city of Xi'an, in northwestern China, the tomb has not yet been opened, but some of the thousands of life-size terra-cotta warriors guarding the dead emperor, unearthed in the 1970s in the surroundings, are a major tourist attraction.
(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2003)