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An old Chinese saying says, “treat death as life.” In China, rulers took this saying very seriously. After death they were buried with lavish supplies of dishes, food, silk and musical instruments. In earlier times living things such as wives, servants, or pets were also buried with the Emperor, often still alive. The afterlife was so important to people because it was believed to be a prolongation of life. Everything that was buried in the tomb was thought to be a necessity for one who wanted to be prepared for a grand afterlife. In Lintong County, thirty-five kilometers east of the Chinese city Xi’an, a tomb was found that contained a whole army, armed and ready for battle. This army was created for burial complex of the first Emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shihuang .
Qin Shihuang was the first emperor of the Qin dynasty. He was known as a great leader and a conqueror of many lands. He was a destroyer, a builder, and an unforgiving tyrant. Qin Shihuang's accomplishments turned China into a great empire. He formed a centralized government, standardized the Chinese currency and script, and set up a code of laws. He also uniformed the system of measures and built many roads. One of his greatest accomplishments is considered to be constructing and building one half of what today is the Great Wall of China. While the pits with Qin Shihuangs imperial army has been dug up, the actual tomb has not. The supposed contents of the mausoleum are by the tellings of the grand historian, Sima Qian.
In his historical records dated 1 B.C Sima Qian described how the tomb was made and what was put inside it. A project to uncover the tomb though, was started a few years ago but because of a lack of funds, it came to a screeching halt. Yuan Zhongyi is the head of a small group of archaeologists working on the site of the tomb. So far, only a fifth of the fifty-one square mile tomb has been uncovered. Scientific know-how and reliable technology are scarce making it even harder to fund the excavation of the mausoleum.