THE HILLMAN ASIAN ADVENTURE
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CHINA II
www.hillmanweb.com/china2/terracotta4.html
Photos by Bill and Sue-On
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CHINA'S TERRA-COTTA WARRIORS
Part IV: Wandering Through the Pits
.TERRA-COTTA ARMY:
T01 | T02 | T03 | T04 | T05 | T06 | T07 | T08 | T09 | T10
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The Statues Were Originally Painted
Tourists today won't see the Terracotta Army in its original form. After being molded, the statues also received vibrantly colored paint jobs. However, once buried underground for several centuries, most statues lost their color. When archeologists excavated the area, the dry air took its own toll, disintegrating the paint right off the statues. The lacquer beneath the paint curls in the exposed air, causing layers to flake off within minutes. Fortunately, scientists developed a solution known as PEG, which they spray onto any statue the moment it becomes unearthed.

The Emperor's Tomb Is Thought To Be Surrounded By Rivers Of Liquid Mercury

Though known today as one of the world's most toxic chemicals, mercury was considered by the ancient Chinese as the elixir of life. Emperor Qin, in his quest to live forever, ingested mercury pills regularly, likely contributing to his death by the age of 50. The Emperor's belief in mercury may also mean his unexplored tomb is surrounded by rivers of the substance.  

Only One Percent Of The Emperor's Tomb Has Been Excavated

Even though the Terracotta Army was discovered over 40 years ago, only one percent of the emperor's tomb has been excavated. At first, archeologists worried an excavation would damage the emperor's corpse and artifacts in the tomb. But the biggest concern is safety. In his quest for immortality, the Emperor allegedly tasked laborers with creating rivers of mercury throughout the tomb. Tests on the burial ground found high levels of mercury in the area, leaving archeologists struggling to find safest way to excavate the tomb, if they can at all. ~ Ref: ranker.com

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.TERRA-COTTA ARMY:
T01 | T02 | T03 | T04 | T05 | T06 | T07 | T08 | T09 | T10

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