Mercury rivers existed in mausoleum of first Qin emperor: study

Mercury rivers existed in mausoleum of first Qin emperor: study

Archaeological discoveries point to the existence of mercury rivers in the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor, experts concluded at a recent seminar about the study of terracotta warriors.

Over 100 scholars and experts discussed the excavation work of the mausoleum at the seminar. The depth, width and length of the structure are 30, 50 and 80 meters respectively. According to several Chinese classics, there are mercury-filled rivers underground in the mausoleum.

Now, recent research reveals that there were indeed such rivers at the bottom of the mausoleum, according to a drainage map from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). Experts believe that the large quantity of mercury in the burial space was transported from 100 kilometers away in Xunyang County, Shaanxi province.

Moreover, archaeologists found more than 200 small pits for stables near the mausoleum in Shangjiao Village. The excavated objects from the pits were related to horse taming and cultivation.

The mausoleum also has many objects made of bone, including objects for military use, entertainment and daily use, indicating that objects made of bones were widely used and produced in the late stages of the Qin Dynasty. Most of the bones were from pigs, horses, cows, sheep and deer. Over 50 small objects made of bones were discovered in Pit K0007. Scientists speculate that these objects may have been used as parts of musical instruments.

This is the first time wares made of bone have been released to the public, providing a great reference for the study of economics and society in the Qin Dynasty.

 

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