Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/17/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Crossbow, triggers were made by teams of craftspeople

The life-size terra-cotta army buried alongside China's first emperor was among the 20th century's most amazing archaeological finds. Scientists have now figured out how the bronze triggers for the crossbows of the 8,000 terra-cotta warriors were made.

Craftspeople sculpted about 8,000 colorful warriors, probably using real human beings as inspiration and those warriors wore stone armor and 'wielded' lances, swords and crossbows.

Craftspeople sculpted about 8,000 colorful warriors, probably using real human beings as inspiration and those warriors wore stone armor and "wielded" lances, swords and crossbows.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/17/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Terracotta warriors, craftsmen, afterlife


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers say that teams of craftspeople worked in small groups to produce the bronze pieces in batches for the tomb of ancient Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

About 8,000 Terracotta Warriors were buried in three pits less than a mile to the northeast of the m

About 8,000 Terracotta Warriors were buried in three pits less than a mile to the northeast of the mausoleum of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi.


According to a new study detailed in the March issue of Antiquity, historical documents suggest that soon after Emperor Qin Shi Huang ascended to the throne in 246 B.C., he began work on his tomb near Xi'an, China.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

First unearthed in the 1970s, the tomb revealed thousands of lifelike terra-cotta statues of artisans, musicians, officials, horses and soldiers.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was buried with everything he needed for the afterlife, including an army comp

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was buried with everything he needed for the afterlife, including an army complete with life-size clay horses.


It's estimated that the astonishing project conscripted 700,000 laborers, many of whom were convicts or people who were in debt to the empire, study co-author Xiuzhen Janice Li says. Li was an archaeologist who was at the University College London at the time of the new work and is now at the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Museum in China.

Ensuring the emperor's military power and resources in the afterlife was the reason behind the massive undertaking.

Craftspeople sculpted about 8,000 colorful warriors, probably using real human beings as inspiration and those warriors wore stone armor and "wielded" lances, swords and crossbows.


This terracotta warrior is thought to represent a general who would have commanded the footsoldiers.

This terracotta warrior is thought to represent a general who would have commanded the footsoldiers.


It remained a mystery as to how these ancient weapons were made. The crossbows were made of wood or bamboo that rotted long ago, and only the tips and triggers for the bows remained, Li says.

Li and her colleagues visually inspected and measured about 216 of the five-part crossbow triggers from the mausoleum. They found that the lack of wear on the metal pieces suggests the weapons were never used in actual battle, but were instead built solely for the tomb.


The first Qin emperor needed not just soldiers, but bureaucrats like this one, to run his kingdom in

The first Qin emperor needed not just soldiers, but bureaucrats like this one, to run his kingdom in the afterlife.


The team also analyzed the spots where triggers were found in the tomb, as well as the variation in the size and shape of the pieces.

The pieces were mostly uniform, suggesting the interlocking trigger parts were made in the same or nearly-identical molds and produced in small batches. Each batch of the trigger pieces was likely then assembled in small cells, or workshops, perhaps headed by an overseer.  That model contrasts with the "assembly line" hypothesis that some archaeologists thought might have been used.


Even the horses in the massive terracotta army were each unique; no two were alike.

Even the horses in the massive terracotta army were each unique; no two were alike.


Study co-author Marcos Martinón-Torres, an archaeologist at the University College London, says that the organization into small workshops was similar to the structure the emperor imposed on the rest of society in ancient China. "He abolished any privileges inherited by blood, and the population was divided in small groups that were collectively responsible for their adherence to imperial laws," Martinón-Torres wrote in an email.

"For example, if someone in one of these groups committed a crime, all of them were held responsible, unless they reported the culprit and allowed them to be punished."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Faithful gather to celebrate 500 years of the Catholic Church in Myanmar Watch

Image of Christianity remains a small minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Catholic Church there begins to celebrate its 500 years there, Christianity remains a small minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. According to a census conducted this year, Catholics number about 750,000 out of a population estimated at just over ... continue reading


China's icy heart? Has the Catholic Church warmed up the Asian superpower? Watch

Image of China has 12 million Catholics, but they are often split between support for the local state-run Church and the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the Vatican and China have been frosty since the communist takeover in the 1950s, and the Holy See has found it very difficult to warm relations with the Asian superpower. But with an unprecedented proposal from China, all that could very well ... continue reading


Lessons not learned: 132 Indian women sterilized in five hours following tragedy Watch

Image of Senior officials in Ghuvara acknowledged that the family planning camp was organized by government authorities, but refused to speak on record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of India recently saw the deaths of 13 women, with as many as 50 women seriously injured after a hasty mass sterilization camp in Ghuvara in Chhatarpur district. Lessons were not learned, it appears, as another 132 women were reportedly operated upon ... continue reading


Two billion people drink water contaminated by feces Watch

Image of According to WHO, inadequate water supply and sanitation results in annual economic losses of $260 billion.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nearly two billion people use water contaminated by feces, posing a global health risk despite billions of dollars spent on sanitation, said a report published on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - One in seven people, mostly poor and living in ... continue reading


Five million people expected in Goa, India to venerate St. Francis Xavier Watch

Image of The saint, who died in 1552, has his remains preserved in a glass-paneled silver casket and kept inside the 16th-century Basilica of Bom Jesu (Good Jesus).

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five million people are expected to flood Goa, India in order to venerate the remains of 16th century Spanish missionary Francis Xavier. The remains will be on display for 40 days beginning this weekend.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In order to ... continue reading


PHOTO: Baby born with four arms, four legs in India called 'God's baby' Watch

Image of The family understands the excitement and interest in their newest member.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A baby boy born with four arms and four legs is drawing crowds to Baruipur, a city in India's eastern West Bengal State. The child has been called "God Boy" by his parents as he resembles a Hindu deity with multiple arms and legs.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Eight reasons why North Korea's leaders should be tried for crimes against humanity Watch

Image of Kim Jong Un could face an international court, however the odds are very slim.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Telegraph has published a list of eight crimes for which North Korea and its leadership could be tried in international court. Although the odds of anyone from North Korea facing such justice are long, the world should be prepared because anything could happen in ... continue reading


Stripped naked, Indian woman forced to parade on donkey through village Watch

Image of Said woman was accused of killing her nephew, Vardi Singh, by his wife and relatives, and found guilty by a council of elders.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

A woman in northern India was stripped naked and paraded through her village on a donkey after being accused of murdering her nephew, according to a BBC News report on Monday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The village council in Rajsamand district in ... continue reading


DEPTHS OF DEPRAVITY: Two U.S. men flee Thailand after allegedly shipping BABY PARTS overseas Watch

Image of According to officials, the two men's package included a severed baby's head and a child's left foot cut into three separate pieces.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's too early for Christmas - but two American men are on the run after a grisly package that they allegedly shipped from Thailand made it back to the states. According to officials, the men's package included a severed baby's head and a child's left foot cut ... continue reading


One group fights to save the lives of thousands of newborns Watch

Image of In Nepal, superstition and suspicion is being fought with science in order to save the lives of thousands of babies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ongoing campaign in Nepal to cut down on the number of newborn deaths is being carried out by thousands of volunteers, aided by the U.S. Development Agency (USAID). LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bhumisara Upadhyay is just one of these volunteers, who ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter