Terracotta Army Discovered

Date taken: March 29, 1974
Location: Xi'an, China

Historical Context

In 1974 local farmers digging a well near the Chinese city of Xian came across one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made. The discovery of a clay warrior figure soon revealed many more by state archaeologists. In fact there may be 8,000 terracotta figures in total, each individually modelled and purposely arranged in three pits to guard the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di (246-210 B.C.)

Contemporary court documents indicate the mausoleum was started soon after Emperor Qin took the throne in 246 B.C and continued until unrest in 209 B.C. Remote sensing and ground-penetrating radar has revealed the whole tomb complex to be almost 38 square miles (98 square kilometers) with the unexcavated Emperor's tomb at the centre.

Historical Events

  • 1974-03-29 Chinese farmers discover the Terracotta Army near Xi'an, 8,000 clay warrior statues buried to guard the tomb of China's 1st emperor, Qin Shi Huang

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