donderdag 30 mei 2013

China to Finally Open Mount Li First Emperor Pyramid Tomb

Submitted by Need2Know on May 17th, 2013 – Flag this news as inappropriate
Category: News
 
One of the greatest modern archaeological mysteries resides in the country of China today with the pyramid tomb complex of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang. It is reported that more than 700,000 men, with many of them being convicts were assigned the task of building the pyramid tomb and the surrounding buildings which have all been lost to age besides the pyramid of course. But it's not really the pyramid that is the big mystery surrounding this site, it is what the pyramid may contain inside of it that has archaeologists foaming at the mouth. According to Chinese legends, the pyramid is actually the outer protection of a vast tomb for the country's first emperor. Inside this tomb are supposed to be vast treasures, a model of the emperor's capital city, mercury filled rivers and oceans, a ceiling done with shells to mimic the constellations and the actual body of the emperor himself. Most researchers and historians took this story to be a legendary tale or if it did exist, then it was probably plundered by tomb robbers long ago. But, over the past 35+ years there have been numerous discoveries that are showing that the tomb could very well remain intact with all of its treasures still safe inside.

The first discovery made was in March of 1974 with the Terracotta Warriors being unearthed. A group of local peasants were in the process of building a well when their shovels hit upon what at first was thought to be a strange shaped rock but in actuality turned out to be the head of one of the buried warriors. Since this discovery, more than 8000 Terracotta warriors have been unearthed in several large pits about a mile near the pyramid. Amazingly, each one of these warriors was buried with real bronze age weapons and were painted with individual facial characteristics and colors. There have been many ranks of military personnel unearthed in the pits with examples of cavalrymen, kneeling archers, commanding officers and most prevalent of all are the foot soldiers. Many theories have been proposed to explain why these warriors were built and then buried but the one reason most archaeologists agree upon is they were most likely a military force to accompany the emperor in the afterlife. What is odd, is that there is no mention of these figures in any of the records from that time period though. Along with all of the warriors discovered, there have also been many more items found too. Numerous life size horses have been unearthed in formation with the warriors, a few half scaled bronze chariots have been found, and real stables with lamps, shovels and mangers have been unearthed too.
 
Around 1980, two burial graveyards were unearthed with the remains of some of the convicts who had helped build the pyramid. In one of these graveyards 18 obituaries were found incised on tile the names and native places of each of the deceased. These are the earliest examples of this practice found in China. Around this same time, 17 royal graves were also unearthed with evidence of a massacre having occurred. Legends tell that the First Emperor's favorite son actually murdered all of his siblings to ensure his ascension to the throne. The bodies of the victims in these graves tell of a horrible massacre having occurred with many of them being cornered and then either beheaded or cut in half at the waist. Along with these human remains were also found rare animals interred in clay pots, and a kiln used for firing bricks for the tomb itself. Perhaps the most intriguing find in these graves was an underground tunnel that archaeologists consider to be the main entrance into the first emperor's tomb. Currently, this tunnel is blocked by rubble and large stones. A smaller tunnel passage was also found but this appears to be the work of looters who were unsuccessful in gaining entrance into the tomb.

So, what evidence is there for the tomb having remained intact over the past thousands of years and actually containing the legendary treasures inside of it? In 1985, Chinese scientists subjected the pyramid to electronic probes, acoustical soundings, geophysical prospecting and underground radar scans and found that the soil around the tomb was an amazing 280 times higher in mercury levels than the surrounding areas. Trenches that were dug in the immediate vicinity of the tomb show that its walls are intact and that the soil covering them has not been moved. Radar scans have shown that the all of the walls appear to be 100% intact with no breaches visible.
 
With all of this positive scientific data, you would think that the Chinese would be overly eager to excavate as soon as possible but the Chinese government is playing it safe for right now and says that they have no plans to open the tomb anytime soon. According to government officials, they are waiting for scientists to prove that they can excavate the tomb without endangering any of the artifacts inside of it. Tombs that have been sealed for many hundreds and thousands of years need to have the air and humidity slowly brought up to what levels are on the outside of the tomb versus the inside to ensure that artifacts are not damaged in the process. If this is not done correctly, then innumerable artifacts could be lost forever.

So, when will the tomb be opened? Thankfully, there are signs pointing that it could actually happen soon. Scientist are pretty sure that they can safely excavate the tomb without damaging any of the artifacts inside of it. It would take a pretty good length of time to slowly equalize the air contents to match the inside and the outside of the tomb but scientists are claiming that we have the technology available now to do this and only need the opportunity to demonstrate it. Chinese officials are looking over the research and say that a decision should be coming shortly. Meanwhile, the emperor can safely walk his tomb without disturbance for at least a little while longer.

China to Finally Open Mount Li First Emperor Pyramid Tomb - News - Bubblews

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