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Six Surprising Discoveries Have Appeared during the Excavation of Qin Terracotta Warriors

Published by  haphine at 2009/6/17;

Pottery figurines, ceramic horses, weaponries, war chariots, color paintings…many surprising discoveries have appeared during the third excavation (started from June 13, 2009) of the Pit No.1 of Qin Terracotta Warriors in Shaanxi Province.


The 6 surprising discoveries are as follows:

No.1 Two closely-connected chariots
Two closely-connected chariots were discovered in the G9 Passageway, with 4 horses beside each chariot. Many other armors and terracotta warriors have been discovered as well.


No.2 Color painting on the face of a warrior figure
Tanned japanned leather was discovered on the body of a warrior figure, which seemed like remains of color painting. And the unexcavated body of the figure is probably colorful. During the excavation of the G9 Passageway, color paintings were found in the armors. And a well-preserved chariot was discovered in the G10 Passageway, whose hair and expression could be seen clearly.


No.3 Red and green-colored ring around the lacquer wood
Although more than 2000 years have passed, the red and green paintings on the lacquer wood are still bright.


No.4 Sharp bronze arrows
Many weapons including lances, swords and arrows have been discovered, among which the age-old arrows are fairly sharp. More weapons may be discovered in this area.


No.5 More than 150 pottery figurines expected to be discovered
No war chariots have been discovered in the G10 Passageway yet. However, about 150 terracotta warriors, two horse cars and 8 horses are expected to find in the Pit No.T23, according to the distribution of previous discovered terracotta warriors.


No. 6 Tourists can watch the live excavation
During the third excavation, the visiting is not affected and the tourists can visit the terracotta warriors freely. The process of the excavation can be seen clearly.


Large-scale array of troops in color painting may exist
A badly-broken colorful warrior was discovered during the excavation, after what a well-preserved colorful warrior figure with armor was discovered. The discovery of these two warriors may indicate the existence of a large-scale array of troops.


In addition, there are 3 problems occurring in the excavation of the Terracotta Warrior:

No.1 Soil humidity---a vital problem
The color of the warriors can not spall after being unearthed only in the condition that the soil humidity is suitable. The soil humidity of the warrior was 90% , with the temperature of 10-20℃ under the ground but it is much dryer on the earth. Therefore, humidification is needed before the excavation, during which the amount and the exact method of humidification should be considered carefully, so that the color on the body of the warriors can be preserved to the largest extent.


No.2 The preservation of the tiny cultural relics
Some underground tiny relics are of high study value, such as woodiness and basketwork and so on. But they may have been fired or wetted under the ground. And the protection technology towards these relics needs to be further studied.


No.3 The preservation of color painting
Since the coloration is always adopted on the 1-2 level of raw lacquer, the external color painting may be spliced with the soil and may spall from the surface when the warriors are unearthed. Therefore, the color of the warrior is the key subject to protect.


Besides, the colored chunks of clay may spall or mix with the soil in the pit. So how to restore the colored chunks of clay and stick them back has become a tough question at present.


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