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Older terracotta figurines found
Latest Updated by 2006-08-16 13:54:09
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The rough-hewn, 10-centimeter tall statues might be the oldest terracotta figurines produced by the Qin State at the beginning of the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC). (Photo:

Chinese archaeologists have discovered two terracotta figurines dating back to about 2,500 years ago, older than the famous terracotta warriors buried with first Chinese emperor Qinshihuang.

The rough-hewn, 10-centimeter tall statues might be the oldest terracotta figurines produced by the Qin State at the beginning of the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC), said some experts.

The two figurines were found at the ruins of Yongcheng, an ancient Qin State capital, in northwest Shaanxi Province, according to local media reports.

Qin State unified China in 221 BC. Qinshihuang, the first emperor of a unified China, built the first Great Wall and ordered up a giant mausoleum for himself outside today's Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, guarded by an estimated 8,000 life-size pottery warriors and horses.

The newly found small terracotta figurines might have been used to decorate houses, said an archaeologist.

The figurines were unearthed at the relics site of an ancient ceramics workshop. More than 2,000 pieces of roof tile were also found.

This is the first time such a large number of Qin State roof tiles have been discovered, said Tian Yaqi, a researcher with the Institute of Archaeology of Shaanxi Province.

Roof tiles were used on ancient buildings in China, usually engraved with characters and patterns. Fifteen different types of animal pattern - including tigers, phoenixes, toads and deer - have been found on the tiles.

The relics site, which was accidentally discovered by local farmers, has drawn considerable interest from cultural heritage departments.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: China View website
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