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Who actually discovered the Terracotta Warriors

2008-09-01

 

Who actually discovered the Terracotta Warriors


The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, created about 2,200 years ago, were found in 1974 on the east side of the tomb of the First Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 BC - 210 BC) near Xi'an. Nine-strong team of farmers who, while digging a well on their communal farm in Yang village in 1974, stumbled across the most priceless archaeological discovery of modern times.The site is now the famous Terracotta Warriors Museum, which consists of three main buildings, Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3. The three pits occupy an area of 22,000 square meters, housing about 8,000 life-size pottery warriors and horses?The discovery has brought millions of tourists from all over the world to Xi'an in north-western China and made many businessmen and local people rich, including the farmers who actually discovered the Terracotta Warriors. 
 

 

 

 When people feel amazed by the Terracotta Warriors, they also feel very curious to know who, when and how the Eighth Wonder was discovered.

"It was the days of collective farms and we were given ten credit points by our brigade leader for finding the warriors. That was the equivalent of about one Yuan(1 dime)."
There had always been rumors of buried treasure in the farmers' village.
Then, in March 1974, while digging a well, one of the farmers, Zhifa, struck something about 15m down.
"At first all we saw was the top of a head," said Quanyi.
"Then as we dug further we saw the whole head."
Thinking he had found a bronze relic that the villagers could sell for the price of a few packets of cigarettes, Zhifa used a hammer to break it off and brought it back to the village. "Everyone was afraid to touch it," said Quanyi.
"We thought it was a temple statue - a Buddha perhaps.
"We were frightened that the Buddha would punish us."
 
In fact the farmers had found one of more than 8,000 terracotta foot soldiers, archers and charioteers that had been buried with Qin, the First Emperor of China, in 221 BC in a mausoleum covering several square miles.
 
Officials and archaeologists poured into the village and began to excavate the tomb. The village was claimed by the government and farmers all got compensation from the government. However, there was no decision or comments from the local government on who actually discovered the Terracotta Warriors. All we knew is that a working team of nine farmers from the local village. The nine farmers were back to their normal country life and life went on quietly and smoothly. “We are just farm-ers, anyway” as they said.

 Mr. Bill Clinton, the former President of USA, paid a visit to the Terracotta Warriors in 1998 and he said that the Terracotta Warriors is great, and the person who discovered the Terracotta Warriors is great too! After that remark  Mr. Yang Zhifa, one of the remaining farmers in1974 had the honor to meet Mr. Bill Clinton and he became the focus all of a sudden and the honor and benefit aroused the question and big topic: who actually discovered the Terracotta Warriors? .Anyway you could find any of “farmer brothers” sitting in the museum to sign books for tourists when the mystery of the Terracotta Warriors are down there forever.

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