The digital model Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum that the Terracotta Army was meant to protect.
Qin Shi Huang is the first Emperor of China. His mausoleum is situated at the northern foot of the Lishan Mountain 30 kilometers east of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province.
The tomb covers an area of 56.25 square km and was originally topped with a mound 115 meters high and at present the height of the covering mound is 76 meters.
There are two city walls inside the cemetery. The inner city wall has a circumference of 3840 meters and the outer city wall 6210 meters. The height of the walls of both inner and outer cities ranges from 8 to 10 meters. Today there are still relic sites of walls. In the south is the burial place and in the north are structures of the resting hall and convenience halls.
As the first imperial mausoleum in the history of China, the Mausoleum ranks first of all imperial mausoleums in terms of its massive scale and rich variety of burial objects.
According to historical records, the mausoleum project had been initiated the year after Emperor Qin Shi Huang ascending his throne. Completed in 208 BC, the construction lasted 39 years.
It was designed by the Prime Minister Li Si and under the supervision of the Grand General Zhang Han. A total of 720,000 laborers had been enlisted for its construction. At its peak period of construction, as many as 800,000 men had been recruited.
Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum in different seasons.
The number of men involved was almost eight times as large as that mobilized for the construction of the Pyramid of Khufu. As is recorded in the Book of History, the dig of the burial chamber continued until underground springs were reached.
Copper was used to reinforce the base for the coffin to be laid upon. Inside the burial chamber rare treasures were placed.
The main passageways to the chamber were equipped with machinery that could trigger sharp-pointed arrows from powerful crossbows. Tomb robbers would be shot dead as soon as they approached.
The chamber was also filled with mercury to symbolize the rivers, lakes and oceans. The vault of the burial chamber was embedded with legendary luminary pearls to represent the sun, the moon and stars. Fish oil was used to light the chamber in pursuit of everlasting illumination.
The Qin Dynasty is a splendid page in the history of China. And the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor almost embodies the highest achievement of Qin civilization.
Emperor Qin Shi Huang sought to bring underground and preserve all the luxuries and riches he had enjoyed in his life. The Terracotta Army unearthed in the Mausoleum has been acclaimed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
(Picture at left: Burial Article)
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