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Terracotta Warriors & Horses

In the early spring of 1974, a number of peasants accidentally discovered some ancient bronze weapons and pieces of broken terra cotta armored warriors while sinking a well. No one ever expected that this accidental discovery would prove to be one of the most significant modern archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, adding greater understanding to China's history and at the same time unfolding a unique and majestic spectacle before the world: the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum, the underground army of terra cotta warriors.

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, started building his mausoleum and took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. More than 6,000 life-like clay warriors and horses were unearthed. They were arrayed in an oblong battle formation of the Qin Dynasty, facing east. They look healthy and strong, having different facial expressions, showing Emperor Qingshihuang's strong determination of wiping out the other six states and unifying China. Thousands of real weapons were unearthed from these terra-cotta army pits. These weapons were exquisitely made. Some of them are still very sharp since their surface were treated with chromium. They are as bright as new, though buried underground for more than 2,000 years, an indication of how sophisticated the Qin Dynasty's metallurgical technology and weapon-manufacturing technique. The Terracotta Warriors and horses are often regarded as the Eighth World Wonder and it is a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.

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