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October 13, 2009

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New relic park will show Qin's terracotta actors and officials

AUTHORITIES in northwest China's Shaanxi Province are expected to open a relic park next year at the mausoleum of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuang, where his terracotta army has stunned the world for decades.
The park will include sections of the 2,200-year site that have never been open to the public before.
The park will include three pits showing terracotta figures of actors, performers and civilian officials as well as ancient armor from the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-210 BC), Oriental Morning Post reported yesterday.
The terracotta actors are depicted mostly half-naked, wearing skirts of ancient court performers hired to amuse the emperor and officials. Each terracotta actor is in a different pose to show the variety of court entertainment.
Unlike the pits containing the terracotta warriors, the three new pits, covering more than 8,000 square meters, show the cultural aspects of the Qin Dynasty. They will be turned into two underground museums.
The life-sized terracottas are only a small part of the mausoleum, which took 800,000 laborers 38 years to complete in Qin's time.
The emperor's mausoleum was constructed to serve as an imperial compound. It has several offices, halls and other structures and is surrounded by a wall with gateways. The terracotta warriors were said to be buried with Emperor Qin so they could defend him in the afterlife.
The 56.25-square-kilometer mausoleum contains more than 600 satellite tombs from which more than 50,000 cultural artifacts have been unearthed.
Yet the core of the mausoleum, the tomb of the first emperor himself, will not be excavated any time soon.
"I don't think anyone alive now will see the excavation of his tomb," said Cao Wei, vice curator of the Terracotta Army Museum.
The relic park will also resume 1.9 million square meters of occupied houses for further archeological activities. Visitors to the relic park will have the chance to watch archeologists work and make new discoveries.


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