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Xiyang Warriors


The Eighth Wonder of the World was discovered in 1974 by Yang Peiyang, a peasant farmer, whilst digging for a well in the fields at Xiyang. At a depth of 4 metres the farmers found pottery fragments, followed by the pottery torso of a man.

Archaelogists arrived to begin excavations and they discovered that the site consisted of 3 pits, filled with terracotta statues and horses, and was infact the mausoleum of the Emperor Qin Shihuang. More than 8000 warriors and horses were unearthed, along with over 100 wooden chariots. It appears that Emperor Qin ordered his mausoleum to be constructed prior to his death, taking over 20 years to complete.

When the warriors were originally made, each was modelled on a fellow soldier, giving each one its own individual size, style and facial expressions. They were also painted with plant extracts, but on excavations, these colours faded within a few days, reverting the warriors to their original colours.

When the archaelogisits discovered the pits containing the warriors, they found the bodies to be in many pieces, the pits having been raided and ransacked by opposing forces, the weapons plundered and the warriors smashed. Only one warrior, a kneeling archer, remained totally intact. The task of restoration was immense and a project that will continue for many years to come, as many of the lines of warriors are still totally covered awaiting excavation.

The excavation site is now covered by exhibition halls, preventing the modern day pollutants from attacking and further damaging these ancient wonders. This also allows millions of visitors the chance to view this magnificent piece of Chinese History!