Legendary army, called Terracotta (under the name of the material from which made the statue), was accidentally discovered by Chinese farmers in March 1974 during the construction of the local irrigation system. The find immediately attracted the interest of archaeologists, and soon large-scale excavations were deployed here.
Discovered army consists of more than seven thousand full-size statues of soldiers and horses that were buried in 210-209 BC. e. together with the Chinese ruler Jine Shi Huang, the first emperor of feudal China. He was able to combine the first time under a single ruler seven separate states on the territory of the country and founded a dynasty that ruled in the period from 221 to 207 years BC. e. Historians believe that Qin was one of the most powerful and most significant rulers in Chinese history, but his tyranny and incredible cruelty caused the large-scale peasant uprising shortly after his death, which ended the dynasty.
Terracotta Army buried with their ruler, was, probably, to give him the opportunity to satisfy his imperious manners in the hereafter as well, as it did during his lifetime. Although instead of living warriors against the familiar tradition with the Emperor of clay copies were buried, that some experts considered to be a very progressive step, we should not forget that in addition to the statues of warriors with Jine was buried according to various estimates, up to 70 thousand (!) Working together with their families, and about three thousand concubines. And these people, unlike soldiers, are quite real.
Army of clay warriors in battle formation rests in parallel vaults 1.5 kilometers east of the emperor's tomb. The latter, in turn, is 33 km east from the city of Xi'an, a modern administrative center of Shaanxi Province, one of the central provinces of China. Crypts, with a depth of 4 to 8 meters, are now in the territory of the museum. The first one was opened to the public back in 1979, and the museum became fully available only in 1994. At the moment, archaeologists freed from the ground about 1,500 statues.
The figures of warriors are real works of art, as carried out individually by hand and using a variety of techniques. Every single statue has its own unique features, and even facial expressions. After giving the desired shape of the statue were baked and coated with a special organic coating, which is applied over the paint. Presented warriors differ in rank (officers and ordinary soldiers), as well as on the type of weapon (spear, sword or crossbow). Also clay statues in 1980, 20 meters from the tomb of the Emperor two bronze chariots have been found, each of which consists of more than 300 parts. Chariot drawn by fours horses, harness which contains gold and silver items.
Shortly after the emperor his tomb death was looted and fires caused by thieves, led to the collapse of the ceiling, burying many thousands of clay army in moist soil for more than two thousand years (it should be noted, however, that the plundered tomb in reality could only be one of the "dummies" created for the blind, and this tomb still should look. However, this is a somewhat different story.)
At the first attempt to excavation statues, scientists are faced with a very sad phenomenon: the outer layer of the air sculptures degraded quickly. According Lanholsa Haynes, an archaeologist from the University of Munich, "after being removed from the soil of the statue immediately begin to dry out, and literally within five minutes of their coloring starts luschitsya and peel." This occurs when the fall of the relative ambient humidity to 84% longer. To clarify the cause of the observed phenomenon, the researchers conducted a chemical analysis of the statues. It turned out that the reason for the instability of paint due to the fact that the organic composition is applied to the painting, during a long stay undergone irreversible chemical changes in the wet ground. So now he podsyhaya begins to be peeled off from the base together with applied on top of the pigment.
To avoid degradation of the integument, Lanhols along with colleagues proposed the following technology. Statues extracted from the soil, immediately placed in containers in which the humidity is maintained at the same level as in the ground. Next, the entire surface is treated with an aqueous solution of sculptures substance called hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). Last monomer is some kinds of plastic produced today. HEMA molecule are small and penetrate into minute pores filled with moisture. After this treatment, the statue sent to the nearby city of Linton, where the particle accelerator. With the last of soldiers irradiated by high-energy electrons, which causes the polymerization of the molecules and the formation of "glue" that binds tightly covers the statue with the underlying flooring.
The advantages of this method is that the molecules of HEMA are water soluble and are small enough to penetrate the smallest cracks, but also that the resulting polymer does not modify the appearance of the statue, as do many other formulations (such as many of these substances are applied to like varnishes and hardens, causing some surface gloss). Scientists have already processed in this manner several fragments of statues and very happy with the result. Now they face a lot of work. Among other things, completely unknown how many more clay soldiers resting around the tomb of an ancient emperor.