The Discovery of the Terracotta Warriors
This is a story I wrote when we were studying Ancient China, in history.
THE DISCOVERY OF THE TERRACOTTA WARRIORS
It had just been reported that near the city of Xian (SHYAN) in China, two men were digging a well when they came across what they thought to be bits of broken pottery. Intrigued they continued digging and found what looked like a head with a helmet on it.
The two men then consulted the authorities who consulted the United States to send in the best archaeologists they could get. And so, the United States Government consulted me, Archaeologist Jason Cooper.
I’ve worked in the United States Archaeological Team with 5 other great men. When I heard the case, my mind immediately thought of Shi Huangdi’s burial site. It was not confirmed where he was buried but it is said to have been buried close to where we’re going.
So the next day we traveled to the airport to leave for China. We were all excited, as we always are, and had packed our gear for the trip. After roughly 11 hours on the plane we hopped off.
We were all so stiff for being seated for 11 hours. So we first just stood still, stretching.
When we finally were taken to the site, we were all stunned. I suppose we stood there marveling for about 10 minutes, all thinking the very same thing; could this be part of Shi Huangdi’s legendary tomb?
We decided to camp 20 metres from the well-hole, in case it rained and the ground collapsed into itself. When we woke up the next morning at 5:30am to avoid the heat, we all dug deeper…deeper…deeper until we uncovered what was definitely a human, an ancient Chinese warrior in fact.
I was the chosen the leader of this excavation adventure, so I was the one who did tests on the substance the warrior was made of. I only tested the fragment of his head, which had already fallen off. The results of my tests proved that the soldier was made of Terracotta.
By 6pm that night when we ended we had uncovered 8 more warriors each with a bronze weapon. One of the men in my team noticed that none of the 8 terracotta warriors were the same. We also noticed that in the first 5 minutes of a warrior being in the humidity and heat of the air all the colouring of them faded until it was a dusty red colour.
In case it rained we pulled a big tarp over the site so it would get wet. That night we met the two farmers who uncovered the first pieces. We had a Chinese translator with us so we could understand him. He asked us about what we had uncovered today, as no one was allowed near the site in case it collapsed from the weight.
When we told the Chinese men about our discoveries they were fascinated. Then we interviewed them on what they saw, did and thought when they were digging the well. The answers we heard were no surprise, because we thought the exact same thing.
The legend of Shi Huangdi is as roughly as follows. Historians think that the tomb is deep down inside a mound, possibly 100 feet below. It is said to have automatic firing crossbows to fire at any intruders. Also they think it might have rivers of mercury flowing which might be a symbol that Shi Huangdi will live forever as mercury will not disappear. Of course we do not believe he is still alive, for we are all Christians.
On day 3 we uncovered 16 more warriors and discovered a strange wall. We continued following the wall and found it was a strange oval shape. Then as darkness was approaching we discovered another pit to the left of the first pit. As it was dark we could not excavate any longer so we briefly packed up and cooked our dinner.
Eagerly we woke up the next morning and headed to the 2nd pit. By midday we have found it also was an oval shape and contained many terracotta warriors. Again as darkness approached we uncovered a section of a 3rd pit.
Of course the next day we discovered yet another pit with more warriors. But in this one there were also war chariots and horses and such. So far, none of the warrior’s faces had been the same.
At midday we uncovered what we thought to be another pit but later we found it to be the size of a football field. It was filled with more terracotta warriors. None of them were the same and they all had bronze weapons.
But the most intriguing thing we found that week was a 10 ft mound in the centre of the massive pit. We didn’t enter it because of the legend and the crossbows. We wanted to get armour and such to protect us.
Over the next few months we uncovered more of the massive football field pit. We estimated that we had discovered 7,000 warriors and yet none of them the same.
Once we excavated the massive pit, we scanned the surrounding area and didn’t find any more mini pits.
Now we had been in china for 9 months. The end of our journey near as we packed up all our gear for the last time. As boarded the plane we thanked God for our safety on this experience of a lifetime.
The Mound still hasn’t been excavated but we will do that some other time. Right now the world is marveling at the sight of roughly 7,000 terracotta warriors and I know that is was absolutely worth the time. I know one day we will head back over there and uncover his tomb…
…But for now Shi Huangdi will have to wait a couple of years.