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Mausoleum of Qinshihuang (the First Qin Emperor)

Qin Shi Huang (259 BC - 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was the king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247BC to 221BC, and then the first emperor of a unified China from 221BC to 210BC, ruling under the name First Emperor. After he succeeded in unifying China, he had carried out a series of major reforms in order to strength his unification, and they undertook some gigantic construction projects. For all his achievements, the most notable one is the current Great Wall. For all the tyranny of his autocratic rule, Qin Shi Huang is still regarded by many at present as the founding father in Chinese history whose unification of China has endured for more then two millennia.
He began building up his tomb in the year of his ascendence to throne at the age of 13. In order to complete his many conquests, he ordered some 720,000 conscript laborers to speed up on establishing the royal tomb. And he was able to put it in use after his death.

Brief Introduction
People always pay much attention on the Terra Cotta Warrior and Horses; but could have neglected the yet unexcavated mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, but no wonder that it is only a composition of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. Greater things are yet to come. It is a fact that thousands of statues still remain to be unearthed at this archaeological site, which was not discovered until 1974. Qin Shi Huang is buried, surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors, at the center of a well designed to mirror the urban plan of the capital, Xianyang. The small figures are all different; with their horses, chariots and weapons, they are masterpieces of realism and also of great historical interest.

Site
The Mausoleum of the First Emperor is situated on the eastern outskirt of Lintong County. To the south is the lishan Mountain and the Wei River towards north, with a distance of about 35 kilomwters from Xi'an. It is framed in special shape that likes a dragon according to the traditional Chinese geomancy. The mausoleum itself was right in the position of the eye of the dragon, which indicates a lot the Emperor Qin's strong ambitions upon the land, the whole country.

Covering Area

The Mausoleum of QinShiHuang is the very first emperor tomb throughout the whole Chinese history. It was famous for sweeping size and abundant treasures worldwide. Following the principle that First Emperor Qin still remaining nabobism after death, he built up the mausoleum symbolized the county XianYang. It is a four-layered mausoleum, an inner city, outer city and grounds. The exterior of the mausoleum is a low earth pyramid with a wide base. In 2000 years, the original 100-meter-high (328 feet) hillock has been weathered down to about 47 meters (154 feet) high, 515 meters (1,690 feet) long from south to north and 485 meters (1,591 feet) wide east to west. In an area of 2,180,000 square meters (less than one square miles), many large-scale alhambresque buildings housing precious treasures are said to be buried inside the tomb.

Related Historical Recollection

It is no denying a fact that the tomb is exactly a bloody process of more than 700,000-conscripted labors, which were forced to establish the tomb lifelong or in the end to buried here in order to keep their mouths shut. All the concubines who were still alive after QinShiHuang's death would accompany the emperor as well.
According to other historical data, we have learnt more about the tomb. The coffin of Emperor Qin Shihuang was cast in bronze. Underground Palace was gem-studded replica of imperial housing above ground. Moreover, booby traps with automatic-shooting arrows were installed to deter would-be tomb robbers. Heaven and earth were represented in the central chamber of the tomb. Ceiling shaped into sun, moon and stars by inlaying pearls and gems symbolizes the sky and the ground was an accumulation point of rivers, lakes and seas, like Yellow River and Yangtze River, which stands for the earth. It is said that the underground palace was brightly lit by whale oil lamps for eternity. Nowadays, the records in this book have been definitely proved right by archaeological findings and the underground palace of the tomb is presumably well preserved.

Unexcavated Parts

The Terra-Cotta Warrior and horses have startled the world, but only as a part of the whole mausoleum. The remaining parts still possess allurement to us as somewhat mysteries. Qin bricks and tiles, engraved with decorative patterns, are strew everywhere around the tomb. There are many satellite tombs built for accompanying Qin Shihuang. Ministers, princesses and princes, the famous and the not so famous were inhumed there. The burial pits for horses, rare birds and pottery figures were ever regarded as the sacrificial objects to the Emperor. Therefore the left parts from these tombs and pits are beneficial for archaeologists to make further research.

 


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