Friday, May 19, 2017

Buried Army

Imagine this highly developed complex (complete with Subway and McDonalds) as an empty field. Some farmers are digging a well when they come upon pieces of pottery—bits of the thousands of terra cotta warriors buried here more than 2000 years ago to serve their emperor in the afterlife.

 The scale is vast.

 The individualization is mind-boggling.
 Makes me think of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones, standing up as a very great army.
 The back part of building #1 is workshops where they are assembling what they have dug up.
 It takes about 3 years for each soldier to be assembled. Our guide comes here about 3 times per week. He has been slowly watching #24 come together.
The warriors originally stood in phalanxes with walls between. They were roofed over with logs covered with woven mats and then dirt. You can see the remains of 2200-year-old mats and logs here.
 It’s almost like seeing a bunch of dead bodies emerging from the earth.
This archer was the only warrior (so far) to be taken whole from the excavation. He has one of the most famous faces in the world. And to think that he lived more than 2000 years ago.

 Some of the color remains on his back although the original blue faded within a few minutes of being exposed to the air.   
The government has decided to forego excavating much of the area until technology catches up with problems like the oxidation of the colors. There is a tomb that they know from x-ray scans has a recreated world inside with rivers and mountains, but they can’t open it at this point because the rivers are made of mercury—which must have killed those who made it. Our guide told us more than once to tell all the archeologists we knew to come and help. Not sure if untrained volunteers are welcome or not, but if you are interested...

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