China / Society

Colored Terracotta Warriors exhibited in Xi'an

By Lu Hongyan and Ma Lie in Xi'an ( Updated: 2014-09-29 14:06

An exhibition of colored Terracotta Warriors kicked off on Sept 28 in the Qin Shihuang Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province.

As part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors, and the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Qin Shihuang Mausoleum Site Museum, 37 exhibits of rare cultural relics are being displayed, including colored pottery figurines and figurines' heads, most of which are being made public for the first time, said Zhao Rong, director of the Shaanxi Administration of Cultural Heritage.

The Qin Shihuang Mausoleum, located in Lintong district of Xi'an, is the resting place of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). The became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

"The Terracotta Warriors and horses are valuable asset comparable with the Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek sculptures, and their discovery is China's most spectacular archaeological achievement of the 20th century," Zhao said.

When the Terracotta Warriors and horses were firstly unearthed in 1974, they were all gray as the colors painted on them had faded in the 2,000 years since they were made and buried. But in 1998, eight kneeling warriors were found with color paint on them.

The colorful warriors drew greater attention after they were displayed to the public. After further excavation, more colored pottery figurines were unearthed.

Zhao said the project and achievement of terracotta painting protection technology made by Shaanxi archaeologists and experts won the national science and technology progress award in 2005, and "the technology is the prerequisite for us to enjoy the exhibition of true-color Terracotta Warriors," Zhao said.

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