Investigations indicate that the mausoleum complex contains 24 graves in all. Eight of these have been unearthed and they contain 700 naked terracotta figures. These warrior figures, each about 60cm/2ft tall, have different facial expressions but no arms – something which is a mystery to scientists – and were dressed in silk uniforms. They are equipped with various items in miniature, the mingqi, such as coins, corn-measures and arrowheads. In a cemetery nearby were found the mortal remains of an estimated 10,000 people, many of them workers who died while building the mausoleum.
The ruins of the Palace of Efang lie 15km/972 miles west of the city. They are the remains of part of a complex of buildings constructed on the orders of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty (221-206 b.c.). Whenever the emperor defeated an enemy army he would have a building erected here in the architectural style ofthe enemy country concerned. There are said to have been more than 270 such buildings; in 206 b.c. however, an insurgent general reduced them all to ashes.
Today a few ruins are all that remain of the once magnificent imperial palace – a terrace of compressed clay 20m/66ft high and 31 m/100ft round, and a platform, also of compressed clay, 6m/20ft tall and 5m/16ft deep. These were probably the foundations of two of the 270 palace buildings.
An archaeological find made in the 1970s proved very interesting to the experts. In the ruins of Palace No. 3 a row of wall-paintings were uncovered which depict a carriage and pair and soldiers on horseback. The tints of these 2000 year-old paintings are incredibly fresh and full of life.
The twin peaks of Mount Lishan, 1200m/3940ft high, lie 26km/16 miles east of Xi’an.
Laojun Temple sits on top of the western peak. According to legend, it was here that the Tang Emperor Xuanzong swore everlasting devotion to his concubine.
A pavilion rises up out of thick grass on the slope approaching the Huaqing Hot Springs (see below). It was at this spot that on December 12th 1936 Chiang Kai-shek (see Famous People) wastaken prisoner by two of his officers and forced to join with the Communists in the struggle against the Japanese invaders.