New terracotta warrior museum to open in NW China

XI’AN, June 6 (Xinhua) — A new museum for terracotta warrior statues discovered in the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC) is expected to open in October in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The museum covering a burial pit coded K9901 will allow visitors to watch excavation work of the pit, said Cao Wei, deputy head of the Museum of Terracotta Warriors, on Monday.

The pit is one of 180 funerary pits of the Qin Mausoleum. A previous round of excavation in March 1999 produced a giant bronze cooking vessel and 11 terracotta figurines that stood bare on their upper bodies.

Cao Wei said the pit is unique because the terracotta warriors without armor could be acrobatics performers.

Archeologists launched a second round of excavation on Friday, because the previous excavation covered only less than 10 percent of the 700-square-meter pit and not enough to give a full picture of the structure.

After the new museum is completed, the excavation of the pit will continue in much the same way as it did when the mausoleum’s first burial pit was discovered, Cao said.

The pit will be open to the public during the excavation process, according to Cao.

Qin Shihuang is known as the first Emperor of China. An army of more than 7,000 life-sized terracotta statues depicting warriors and horses were discovered along with his mausoleum in 1974. The mausoleum was later declared a National Heritage site and a World Heritage site.

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