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Miniature Terracotta Army Discovered in China

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

China Mini Terracotta ArmyZIBO, CHINA—Live Science reports that a miniature terracotta army, complete with hundreds of statues of cavalry, chariots, infantry, watchtowers, and musicians, has been discovered in a pit in northeastern China. Researchers from the Cultural Relics Agency of Linzi District of Zibo City and the Shandong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology estimate the army was placed in the pit some 2,100 years ago, or about 100 years after a life-sized terracotta army was buried near the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. This army, whose soldiers stand between nine and 12 inches tall, is thought to have been created for Liu Hong, son of Han Dynasty Emperor Wu, who reigned from 141 to 87 B.C. The presence of the pit and its army, arranged in a formation usually reserved for the burials of monarchs or high-ranking officials, suggests there should be a royal burial mound nearby, but the archaeologists think it may have been destroyed decades ago during railway construction. For more on archaeology in China, go to “Early Signs of Empire.”

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