Three villagers in northwest China are claiming the right to be officially recognized as the discoverers of the famous terra-cotta warriors guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty (221-206B.C.), according to local media.
The farmers are Yang Xinman, Yang Peiman and Yang Peiyan.
Last Thursday, the trio handed an application to the Qin Shihuang Terra-cotta Warriors and Chariots Museum, where the relics have been on display ever since they were uncovered by the villagers in 1974. They want their names to be recorded in the museum's introductory materials.
In fact, nine people have claimed to be the first discoverers. Five are now dead. The ninth person is a staff member of the museum, who insists that the word "discoverer" means someone who has recognized the value of something.
The museum says that it is not authorized to recognize the villagers' claims.
The villagers said they would pursue their claim, if necessary in a court of law.
(Xinhua News Agency December 15, 2003)