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First Chinese emperor Qin Shihuang’s palace unearthed

Last Updated: Friday, December 7, 2012 - 17:48

Washington: Archaeologists have excavated the palace complex of China’s first feudal emperor Qin Shihuang in Xi’an, China, site of the life-size terracotta soldiers.

The palace consists of 10 courtyard buildings and one main building, Fox News reported.

The complex runs about 2,264 feet long and 820 feet wide and its total area is about a quarter of the size of Beijing’s Forbidden City, built in the 1400s.

Shihuang’s mausoleum compound is the size of a small city and records suggest he started constructing it as soon as he became emperor.

The newly unearthed palace complex is within the sprawling tomb, which is guarded by an estimated 8,000 terracotta soldier that Shihuang created to guard him in the afterlife.

Archaeologists said that walls, sewers, doorways and rock roads were among the remains of the ancient palace.

They also unearthed pottery and bricks. The layout of the palace matched other traditional Chinese structures, with a central axis lined up with a main building.

The main burial chamber of Shihuang is yet to be excavated, as archaeologists worry that doing so without enough resources could harm it.

Reports written in the centuries after Shihuang’s death claim the burial chamber has a map of his kingdom, including rivers of mercury. The ceiling is said to be encrusted with jewels.


First Published: Friday, December 7, 2012 - 17:47
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