Wednesday, June 28, 2006

'Foreigner' helped build Terracotta Army
Chinese archaeologists have unearthed evidence that a foreign worker helped build the Terracotta Army mausoleum, the resting place of the country's first emperor, who died more than 2,200 years ago.

The remains of the worker, described as a foreign man in his 20s, were found among 121 shattered skeletons in a labourers' tomb 500 metres from the mausoleum in the north-western city of Xian, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

According to Xinhua, the man may prove to be "China's first foreign worker", though it is unclear whether he served as an employee or a slave of emperor Qin Shi Huang, who unified China and built the first Great Wall. It is estimated 700,000 labourers worked on the imperial tomb, which houses 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses. DNA tests were used to ethnically identify 15 of the labourers.

Not terribly interesting from the Terracotta Army perspective, but more with contacts between eastern and central asia. Still, this has got to be one of the most spectacular archaeological finds there is, but it hasn't really gotten the attention of other Old World sites like the pyramids, Parthenon, etc.