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Green-Faced Terracotta Warrior

Head of green-faced terra cotta warrior
Head of Green-faced
Terracotta Warrior
 Terracotta Warriors Pictures
Among the 1,500 terracotta warrior figures of the Terracotta Army, stands a unique green-faced soldier. Discovered in Pit No.2 in 1999, this unusual figure greatly aroused the curiosity and interest of archaeologists everywhere.

The whole body of this figure was painted in color and the paint on the face still remains. The white part of the eye ball and black pupil are still very clearly visible. The figure's face, neck and ears were painted light green, which marks him out as very different to the other pink faced ones. The eyebrows and beard are black, the hair band is scarlet, and the hair bun and the hair are painted ochre.

This difference led to a heated debate among archaeologists as to the reason why he was painted in this way. Some experts believe that it was done completely by mistake, guessing the figure's creator must have been color blind. Others refute this by pointing out that the strict management rules of the Qin Dynasty would not allow a product which did not conform to the specification to be buried in the mausoleum. Some experts believe that the green face was intended to frighten enemies, however all of these statements are lacking in scientific evidence.

It is interesting to note that the ancient Chinese viewed the color green as symbolic of youthfulness and vibrancy. Based on this knowledge, some experts assert that the green-faced terracotta warrior could have been placed there to demonstrate the braveness of all the soldiers and the power of the army in battle.

A student from Shanghai Jiaotong University recently offered a new explanation – that the green-faced terracotta warrior was a sniper in the army. He gives three strong reasons to support this theory. Firstly, the "Shi Ji" (the Book of History) records that sniper tactics were already in use by the Qin Dynasty. The warrior was a kneeling archer, in a position of controlling the bow, which is the basic stance of a sniper. Secondly, both in ancient and modern times, snipers are generally required to fight in isolation which means that their representation in the army is very slight when compared with regular soldiers. The fact that this warrior was the only one of his kind to be unearthed in Pit No.2 supports the student's assertion. Finally, snipers traditionally use camouflage in order to blend in with the surroundings and remain unseen. A green-faced sniper like the painted terracotta warrior could silently approach the enemy without being noticed.

A Repaied Terracotta WarriorArcheologists have yet to unravel the mystery of the painted warrior, but they continue to search for clues in the hope that they can one day solve this mystery. The painted terracotta warrior has aroused the world's curiosity. In 2006, it was exhibited in Germany with other Qin warrior figures. This drew many people who admired its distinguished beauty.

In order to preserve and restore the colorful paint on the clay sculptures, in the early 1990s, the Qin Terracotta Museum established a group of scientists dedicated to this task. This group collaborated with Germany's Bavarian State Conservation Office. After a comprehensive analysis of material composition, layered structure, craft of colored drawing and damage mechanism, they concluded that the colorful paints of the Qin warriors is composed of a brown organic bottom layer of Chinese lacquer, tinted with various colors.

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