Terracotta Army.

The legendary army, called Terracotta (under the name of the material from which made the statue), was accidentally discovered by Chinese peasants in March 1974 during the construction of the local irrigation system. The find immediately attracted the interest of archaeologists, and soon there were deployed scale excavation.


Discovered army consists of more than seven thousand full-sized statues of soldiers and horses that were buried in 210-209 BC. e. along with the Chinese ruler Tsinem Shi Huang, the first emperor of feudal China. The first time he was able to unite under one ruler seven different states in the country and founded a dynasty which ruled from 221 to 207 years BC. e. Historians believe that Qin was one of the most powerful and important rulers in Chinese history, but its incredible tyranny and cruelty caused the large-scale peasant uprising shortly after his death that ended the dynasty.

Terracotta army, buried with his ruler, was likely to give him the opportunity to meet their power habits in the other world, just as he did in life. Although instead of living warriors against a familiar tradition with the Emperor was buried up to the clay, which is regarded by some experts as a very progressive step, we should not forget that in addition to becoming a warrior with Tsinem was buried according to some estimates up to 70,000 (!) Working together with their families, and about three thousand concubines. And these people, in contrast to men, were real.

Army of clay warriors rest in battle formation in parallel vaults 1.5 kilometers to the east of the tomb of the emperor himself. The latter, in turn, is 33 km to the east of Xi'an, the provincial capital of modern Shaanxi, one of the central provinces of China. Crypts, with a depth of 4 to 8 meters, are now in the territory of the museum. The first one was opened to the public in 1979, and the museum has become fully available only in 1994. To date, the archaeologists were released from the soil around 1,500 statues.

Figures of warriors are true works of art, because it is run individually, by hand and using a variety of techniques. Each individual statue has its own unique features, and even facial expressions. After giving the desired shape of the statue baked and covered with a special organic coating, which is applied on top of paint. Presented soldiers differ in rank (officers, ordinary soldiers), and by type of weapon (spear, sword or crossbow). In addition to clay statues in 1980, just 20 meters from the tomb of the emperor were found two bronze chariots, each of which consists of more than 300 parts. Chariot drawn by four horses, harness containing gold and silver items.

Shortly after his death, the emperor's tomb had been looted, and fires caused by the robbers, led to the collapse of the ceiling, burying many thousands of troops in the wet clay soil in more than two thousand years (it should be noted, however, that the looted tomb in reality could only be one of the "blanks", created for the blind, and this is the tomb should look. However, this is a somewhat different story.)

At the first attempt to become a scientist excavation encountered very sad phenomenon: the outer layer of the air sculptures quickly degraded. According Lanholsa Haynes, an archaeologist from the University of Munich, "after the excavation of the statue immediately begin to dry out, and literally five minutes of their coloring luschitsya and starts to peel." This occurs when falling ambient relative humidity is up to 84%. In order to clarify the cause of the observed phenomenon, researchers conducted chemical analysis
statues. It turned out that the reason for the instability of paint due to the fact that the organic compound is applied to the painting for an extended stay in the wet ground has undergone irreversible chemical changes. So now he podsyhaya starts peeling off from the underlying fundamentals with application over a pigment.

To avoid degradation of the covers, Lanhols and colleagues proposed the following technology. Statues, extracted from the ground, he immediately placed in a container, in which the humidity is maintained at the same level as in the ground. Next, the entire surface is treated with an aqueous solution of sculptures of a substance called hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The last is a monomer produced today some plastics. HEMA molecules are small and penetrate into the smallest pores filled with moisture. After this treatment, the statue was sent to a nearby Linton, where the particle accelerator. With the latter soldiers irradiated by high-energy electrons, which causes polymerization of the molecules and the formation of "glue" that binds tightly covers terracotta statues subject.

The advantages of this method is that the HEMA molecule water soluble and are small enough to penetrate into the smallest cracks, and that the resulting polymer is reshaping the look of the statues, as do many other compounds (such as many of such substances are applied like paints and hardens, causing some gloss surface). Scientists have already processed in the manner described several fragments of statues and very happy with the result. Now they face a lot of work. Among other things, we finally know how much clay warriors resting around the tomb of an ancient emperor.

Category: Mystery stories

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