More terracotta warriors unearthed from pit of Emperor Qinshihuang's mausoleum

XI'AN, CHINA (XINHUA) - Chinese archaeologists have unearthed about 200 more terracotta warriors and a large number of weapons from the No. 1 Pit of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang in their latest round of excavation.

The Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum said on Monday (Dec 30) that during the third excavation launched between 2009 and 2019, an area of 400 sq m in the No. 1 Pit has been excavated.

No. 1 Pit is the largest among three pits that surround the tomb of the nation's first emperor in north-west China's Shaanxi Province.

New discoveries also included 12 clay horses, traces of two chariots and some building sites. Weapons unearthed included coloured shields, bronze swords and bows.

Mr Shen Maosheng, who leads the excavation, said that based on the different gestures, most of the newly discovered terracotta figures can be divided into two categories.

One category has warriors holding pole weapons, bending their right arms with half clenched fists, while the other category has warriors carrying bows, with their right arms hanging naturally.

Different types of these figures were arranged in different positions in the pit, indicating their different tasks in the army, while the different armours and costumes signify the ranks of the warriors, Mr Shen said.

The excavation expanded the study on the military service system and military equipment of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), which also provided new ideas for the research on the artistic style, characteristics and manufacturing techniques of figurines in the period, Mr Shen added.

With a length of 230m, a width of 62m and a depth of 5m, the pit could hold more than 6,000 clay figures and horses, archaeologists have estimated.