Green-Faced Terracotta Warrior to Be Shown

A green-faced terracotta warrior will be on show for the first time from May 4 to 8 at the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an.

"This is the only green-faced warrior we have found among the 1,000 pink-faced terracotta warriors unearthed over the past two decades," said Wu Yongqi, curator of the museum in the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The soldier with the green face was discovered in 1999 in the second pit of the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

Archaeologists were surprised to find the warrior, who has black hair and eyes and is squatting and shooting an arrow. Like the others he was crafted more than 2,000 years ago.

Some experts have concluded that the green face is simply a craftsman's mistake, but others believe that the warrior was made to represent another race with different colored skin. No theories have been proven.

Experts also exclude the possibility of change of color through the thousands of years of erosion.

"Emperor Qin Shihuang himself was a man we did not have much knowledge of. The terracotta warriors have yet to be studied by experts," said Wu Yongqi.

Archaeologists say the terracotta figurines were originally decorated in many colors including red, green, blue, yellow, purple and brown. However because of technological problems, most of the figurines lost their colors and are now grey.

Chinese and German scientists have developed a technique to prevent the color of the terracotta warriors from fading.

Qin Shihuang's tomb has been called "the eighth wonder of the world." The terracotta warriors and horses were discovered in Lintong County of Shaanxi Province in 1974. Since then, more than 100 chariots, 600 clay horses, and a large number of clay warriors and ancient weapons have been unearthed in three huge pits.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2002)


In This Series

Year's Work Unearths Additional Terracotta

Terracotta Warriors Trying Modern Athletics



Archaeological Discoveries

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