Terracotta Army Facts

Second Excavation of Pit 2 of Terracotta Army

The second excavation of Pit 2 of Terracotta Army began on April 30, 2015, more than 20 years later than the first excavation of Pit 2 in 1994, when the archaeologists only cleared the backfilled soil above this pit, revealed all the remains of the shed and unearthed the test archaeological area of 1976. The second excavation covers an area of 200 square meters (239 square yards) in the northeast of Pit 2, which was proved to be crossbowmen array before. Currently, the excavation is still ongoing.

Why did conduct the second excavation of Pit 2?

Pit 2 of Terracotta Army1. Pit 2 has more types of terracotta warriors than the other two pits, including cavalry warriors, kneeling archers, and standing archers. Also, it was not severely damaged in history like Pit 1 and Pit 3, hence preserving better wooden shed remains and warriors. Therefore, the second excavation of Pit 2 will not only help to further study the Terracotta Army, but also allow visitors to appreciate more of the clay figures.

2. The first excavation of Pit 2 revealed the remains of wooden sheds covering the terracotta warriors. Although there is still some distance from the shed to the terracotta warriors, it influences the color of the terracotta warriors below to some extent as time passes by. In this sense, the second excavation of Pit 2 is necessary.

3. Archaeological technology has developed a lot and archaeologists are now able to protect the terracotta warriors better. For instance, the technology was not advanced enough to preserve the colorful paintings of terracotta warriors and they fell off within minutes after being exposed to the air. Now, archaeologists have mastered the technology to protect the color of the terracotta warriors.

What are expected to be found during the second excavation?

1. More exquisite colored terracotta warriors

Compared with Pit 1, Pit 2 has a higher chance of unearthing terracotta warriors with better preserved colors. This is because Pit 2 is less damaged, and most of the terracotta warriors in it are kneeling warriors with a relatively low head and a lower center of gravity, so even if it falls down, it won't break easily. In addition, Pit 2 contains less sand than Pit 1, leading experts to expect the terracotta figures to be better preserved. Because water can easily seep in where there is a lot of sand, and if the soil is damp, the color on the clay figures is more easily to fall off.
Read more about True Colors of Terracotta Army

2. More green-faced terracotta warriors

The faces of the terracotta warriors are originally painted pink. In the Pit 2, the archaeological team once excavated a rare green-faced clay figure. Some believe that the green figure was accidentally made by artisans, while others believe that it is imitating the “sniper” of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC); painted in green, he could better hide in the jungle.
Will there be more “green-faced” figures, or others such as “blue-faced” figures that have not been seen before to be found? We have to be patient and wait for the results of second excavation.
Read more about Green-Faced Terracotta Warrior

3. Foreign soldiers

Earlier, 121 ancient skeletons were found near Pit 2, and DNA tests showed they had body features of western Eurasia. Experts speculate that there may have been more frequent contact between East Asian and western Eurasian during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Since there were foreign laborers, would there be foreign soldiers in the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang?

4. More varieties of weapons

In the three pits of the terracotta warriors, tens of thousands of bronze weapons have been unearthed. Generally, it can be divided into three categories: short weapons, including sword and billhook; long weapons, including spear, dagger-axe, halberd, battleaxe, Shu and bayonet; long shoot weapons, such as bows and crossbows. There should be weapons in the unearthed area of Pit 2. Many are looking forward to see what mysterious weapons will be unearthed.
Read more about Top 10 Weapons of Terracotta Army
- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2021 -
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