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Terracotta Museum begins excavation work in pit 2

Updated: May 19,2015 3:16 PM

Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Museum is a treasure house where tourists can learn about ancient Chinese history and culture. It is also a main scenic area in Xi’an city in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. More than 50 million people have visited the museum over the last 20 years.

The 2,200-year-old terracotta army of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, is a vivid reminder of ancient Chinese history and civilization.

Even though excavations began in the early 1970s, the full extent of the cultural treasure is yet to be unearthed, especially after the last round of excavations in 1994.

In Pit 2 excavations to date, experts have found kneeling or standing soldiers, all facing eastward. In the south of the pit, archaeologists discovered eight chariots with their horses, all originally made of wood. But they were in a very poor condition.

What is most surprising for experts is that they have found painted terracotta figures in the pit.

Experts say once the second round of excavations begins, they will have wide ranging data about chariots and use this for restoration. The plan is to excavate around 200 square meters of Pit 2 in the coming years.

Shaanxi province is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. The capital city, Xi’an, was also the capital of 11 dynasties totaling a period of 1,000 years, and the origin of the ancient Silk Road. Now, Xi’an and other cities in western China are prepared to get another boost, this time from the One Road, One Belt Initiative.

Provinces such as Shaanxi and Gansu and Ningxia region will play their roles in forging cooperative and fruitful relations with the countries along the new Silk Road Economic Belt and in developing the central and western regions of China. Trade with countries along the Belt and Road, a China-proposed initiative to enhance international connections, amounted to $236 billion in the first quarter of 2015.