China / Society

Crossbow uncovered in terracotta warriors pit

By Ma Lie ( Updated: 2014-02-27 15:09

Archaeologists in Shaanxi province found a complete crossbow recently during a third excavation of the No 1 pit of the Qin Terracotta warriors and horses, Xi'an Daily reported on Thursday.

The crossbow with complete bowstring was found in the No 11 hole, and archaeologists speculated the material used for the bowstring might be animal tendon.

According to Shen Maosheng, head of the pit's excavation team, it is the first time a complete crossbow has been found in the pit.

"The longest shooting range of this kind of large crossbow could be some 800 m, more than the longest shooting range of 400 m of AK47 rifles, which shows that such ancient weapons were very lethal," Shen said.

The funerary pit located in the Lintong district of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, near the mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC), was found in 1974 with a large number of full-size terracotta warriors and horses as well as other relics. The third excavation of the pit started on June 13, 2009.

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