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Terracotta Warriors: A Hoax?

terracotta warriors china history ancient history conspiracy

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#1    ufo-seeker

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:26 AM

The other day I wrote an article on my theory that the terracotta warriors are a hoax created by the Chinese government. Hoping to just get some feedback and thoughts from people!

The 7,000 Soldier Lie

When I was fifteen, I went on a two week trip to China. The whole idea of the trip had me pretty excited, but being able to see some of humankind’s greatest feats in person was what really got me going. The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors. The first two attractions left me staggered; I was lost for words in their architectural brilliance. However, once I got to The Terracotta Warriors I was left a bit disappointed, and suspicious.

Situated in Xi’an, about 1,000 kilometres inland from Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors now stand the centrepiece at the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park, and are a monument to the ingenuity of the Qin Dynasty. However, there were some issues I had once I had left the archaeological site; such as the condition of the soldiers, how they were found and the illusiveness of the final pit – Qin’s mausoleum. After much research, I have come to the conclusion that the Terracotta Warriors are a tourist hoax created by the Chinese Communist Party. And I will prove this.
The Terracotta Warriors were built by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who ruled from 259 BC – 210 BC, he died when he was 49. The Emperor was known for his extravagant projects, namely the Great Wall of China and a massive national road project that spanned across the entire country. Emperor Qin wanted to create a giant man-made mausoleum in his honour that would protect him in the afterlife – this would include an entire army made of terracotta, with horses, weapons and an adjoining necropolis.

First of all, the site of the Terracotta Warriors was discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers in the local area who were looking to build a well. For anyone who has been to the site, you would notice that there are no surrounding buildings or farms anywhere. The Shaanxi Province of Xi’an is known as “a region riddled with underground springs and watercourses” – why would anyone be looking to dig a well so far out from their farming property? To add to this, the writings of many of Qin’s associates detailed the place and contents of this massive burial site, and these writings had been around for hundreds of years. It doesn't add up that archaeologists and historians wouldn’t have searched for, and found this site before a bunch of potato farmers did.

Secondly, construction of the Terracotta Warriors began when the Emperor Qin was 13, which means that the 700,000 workers involved had 36 years to dig and fill three pits, across a site that covers an area of 16,300 square meters. However this massive project was finished in a mere eleven years (in contrast it took twenty years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is 138.8 metres high and contains 2.3 million limestone blocks carried by slaves).

Each pit is around seven metres deep, 230 metres long and 62 metres wide, with the largest pit – pit one, containing the main army of more than 6,000 figures. All up, the three pits contain more than 7,000 terracotta soldiers – each one hand crafted with unique faces, uniforms and hairstyles, painted with intricate detail (the paint was said to have peeled off after the statues were exposed to air, however there is little evidence in the surrounding area of these paint flakes) and given hand crafted armour and weapons, many soldiers were also given a terracotta or bronze horse and chariot. Along with these three pits, and dozens of others that are yet to be searched, a fourth pit was found but empty, justified that the workers simply ran out of time, even though they would had a rough 20 years until the death of the emperor to finish the last pit.
The Terracotta Warrior pits were apparently ransacked by an enemy of Qin shortly after his death, his men stole various treasures and weapons from within the pits and burned the pits.. But while terracotta cannot be destroyed by a fire, the supporting wooden beams holding up the pits simply burned away, not causing the entire sites to collapse, only partial damage is seen.

While reading this you may think to yourself, those numbers add up – 700,000 workers could dig and fill three pits in eleven years, that’s easy. However, there is something else, these pits weren't even the main attraction of Qin’s mausoleum. No, the centrepiece in this grand design was the ultimate burial ground.

The Emperor’s burial chamber took 38 years to complete, which either means that the construction began two years before the Emperor’s reign, or that it was finished two years after his death – and they would have buried a rotting carcass, which I doubt. Whatever the explanation, it still doesn’t add up why it only took eleven years for the construction of the three pits, or why a fourth pit was left unfinished. The necropolis itself was based off the layout of the Qin capital, Xiangyang which was situated nearby. The circumference of the underground inner city is 2.5 km while the outer is 6.3 km. The Terracotta Army is located about 1.5 km east of the burial site – a bit too far for an Emperor to be protected by his large army. Inside the site is said to be rooms representing offices, halls, stables as well as many other buildings – these rooms filled with terracotta strongmen, courtiers and bureaucrats, all there to assist Qin in the afterlife. More gruesomely, it is said that horses, workers and concubines were also buried alive inside the crypt.

My favourite part however, is the inclusion of one hundred rivers flowing with mercury – and this feature is the reason why this elaborate tomb hasn’t been excavated - archaeologists are worried about the effects of the mercury. To be perfectly honest, that’s a fair enough reason to not excavate something, however where did all this mercury come from? Surely, it would take more than 38 years to collect, transport and store enough mercury for one hundred rivers.

The tomb of the Qin Emperor is only marked by a small mound in the ground, which could be identified as any hill near the Terracotta site. How can it be that it only took 38 years to create an underground city, filled with terracotta people and one hundred rivers flowing with mercury? How can it be that no one has bothered to ask these questions?

To top it all off, it is suggested that there are even more terracotta warriors surrounding the tomb of Qin, however these cannot be excavated either. However, if Chinese archaeologists are so cautious to not disturb the burial site, they surely would’ve taken more care to excavate the other three sites.

With this evidence, I have come to the conclusion that the Terracotta Warriors are a mere hoax by the Chinese Government, carried out by the 20th century Communist government in order to attract foreign tourists to Chin, bring a population to the city of Xi’an and supply thousands of jobs for a country outside the realm of free trade. The archaeological site which was discovered in 1974 has brought popularity of the nearby city Xi’an, and has created a tourist hotspot, generated revenue with the lending out of artefacts for international exhibits, and has even landed a book deal for the farmer who claimed to have found the site. With approximately fifty years to plan and construct over 8,000 warriors using modern technology, the young Communist country who were pretty much totally out of the international spotlight had the time and motive to create one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions, and one of the world’s biggest lies.


#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:51 AM

I see a whole lot of assumptions on your part, what I don't see is the "proof" you promised. Is that still to come or are you just another poster that can't differentiate between what you believe and what you can prove?

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#3    shrooma

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

you're equating 'mammoth task' with 'impossible', always a bad thing.
700,000 workers could've dug the pits in no time at all. that's a LOT of people.
also, the 100 rivers you speak of were thought to be part of a scale model/map of his empire, and without knowing the scale of the model, it's impossible to postulate how much mercury was used, or how long it took to find and transport.
also, you say that all this endeavour would've been impossible, but yet you say it WOULD'VE been possible for the chinese Govt. to fake the whole thing, including hundreds of thousands of people keeping silent about the whole conspiracy, which is probably the only impossibility about the whole theory.
waspie's right i'm afraid, that interesting as your story may be, it's all based on improbable assumptions & groundless speculation.
still, at least you didn't try and bring aliens into the picture, which makes it better than most of the crackpot theories that turn up here!
with a detailed plot like you've come up with though, maybe you should consider a career in writing, seems to me you'd be good at it!
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#4    third_eye

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:34 PM

View Postufo-seeker, on 29 May 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:



~snip

With this evidence, I have come to the conclusion that the Terracotta Warriors are a mere hoax by the Chinese Government, carried out by the 20th century Communist government in order to attract foreign tourists to Chin, bring a population to the city of Xi’an and supply thousands of jobs for a country outside the realm of free trade. The archaeological site which was discovered in 1974 has brought popularity of the nearby city Xi’an, and has created a tourist hotspot, generated revenue with the lending out of artefacts for international exhibits, and has even landed a book deal for the farmer who claimed to have found the site. With approximately fifty years to plan and construct over 8,000 warriors using modern technology, the young Communist country who were pretty much totally out of the international spotlight had the time and motive to create one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions, and one of the world’s biggest lies.

evidence ??

"and one of the world’s biggest lies."

your diatribe certainly qualifies for consideration ....

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#5    simplybill

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:42 PM

I was in China in 2000 and visited Xian. I admit, I was a bit skeptical myself. After doing some further study on China and the emperors, I now accept that those guys were egotistical enough to go to such great lengths in order to be seen as powerful in this life and the afterlife. The emperors had access to unlimited slave labor, and a population that feared and revered them as Dieties, not unlike the Egyptian Pharaohs with their pyramids.


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#6    HollyDolly

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:12 PM

Well I haven't been to China.However, the warriors which do exist maybe have been put there by some other emperor and later Emperor Quin usurped the tomb and used it for his own maybe.I too have head about the mercury rivers . We have protective gear so it wouldn't be that hard to excavate the tomb to see if any of that part is true.But for some reason the chinese haven't done it.There are I understand pyramids in china, but we hear very little about them. I don't think it is all a hoax.


#7    Oniomancer

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

View Postufo-seeker, on 29 May 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

The other day I wrote an article on my theory that the terracotta warriors are a hoax created by the Chinese government. Hoping to just get some feedback and thoughts from people!

The 7,000 Soldier Lie

When I was fifteen, I went on a two week trip to China. The whole idea of the trip had me pretty excited, but being able to see some of humankind’s greatest feats in person was what really got me going. The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors. The first two attractions left me staggered; I was lost for words in their architectural brilliance. However, once I got to The Terracotta Warriors I was left a bit disappointed, and suspicious.

Situated in Xi’an, about 1,000 kilometres inland from Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors now stand the centrepiece at the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park, and are a monument to the ingenuity of the Qin Dynasty. However, there were some issues I had once I had left the archaeological site; such as the condition of the soldiers, how they were found and the illusiveness of the final pit – Qin’s mausoleum. After much research, I have come to the conclusion that the Terracotta Warriors are a tourist hoax created by the Chinese Communist Party. And I will prove this.
The Terracotta Warriors were built by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who ruled from 259 BC – 210 BC, he died when he was 49. The Emperor was known for his extravagant projects, namely the Great Wall of China and a massive national road project that spanned across the entire country. Emperor Qin wanted to create a giant man-made mausoleum in his honour that would protect him in the afterlife – this would include an entire army made of terracotta, with horses, weapons and an adjoining necropolis.

First of all, the site of the Terracotta Warriors was discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers in the local area who were looking to build a well. For anyone who has been to the site, you would notice that there are no surrounding buildings or farms anywhere. The Shaanxi Province of Xi’an is known as “a region riddled with underground springs and watercourses” – why would anyone be looking to dig a well so far out from their farming property? To add to this, the writings of many of Qin’s associates detailed the place and contents of this massive burial site, and these writings had been around for hundreds of years. It doesn't add up that archaeologists and historians wouldn’t have searched for, and found this site before a bunch of potato farmers did.

Obviously not from a farming community. You dig where the water is, not where it's convenient. it's fairly common to see wellheads some distance away from any buildings out in the country. Just because the region is "riddled with underground springs and watercourses” doesn't mean there's water right there handy. Even in the 70's they probably would've been relying on geomancy to locate suitable site too, the same way drillers here still use dowsing.
It makes perfect sense to dig a well that far out anyway if you're using it for irrigation. You're not going to haul water from the house all the way out to the back forty by the bucket load if you don't have to. (Fans of The Walking Dead will recall the second well by the horsebarn on the farm.)

And how do you know there weren't buildings there at one time? With an archeological site of that size and importance, it's quite likely any structures were removed and the owners relocated to facilitate excavation. This is communist China we're talking about after all. Eminent domain isn't an issue when the state owns everything.

Quote

Secondly, construction of the Terracotta Warriors began when the Emperor Qin was 13, which means that the 700,000 workers involved had 36 years to dig and fill three pits, across a site that covers an area of 16,300 square meters. However this massive project was finished in a mere eleven years (in contrast it took twenty years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is 138.8 metres high and contains 2.3 million limestone blocks carried by slaves).

Are you seriously comparing digging a bunch of holes in the ground and shoring them up to excavating and erecting millions of tons of rock by hand labor?


Quote

Each pit is around seven metres deep, 230 metres long and 62 metres wide, with the largest pit – pit one, containing the main army of more than 6,000 figures. All up, the three pits contain more than 7,000 terracotta soldiers – each one hand crafted with unique faces, uniforms and hairstyles, painted with intricate detail (the paint was said to have peeled off after the statues were exposed to air, however there is little evidence in the surrounding area of these paint flakes) and given hand crafted armour and weapons, many soldiers were also given a terracotta or bronze horse and chariot. Along with these three pits, and dozens of others that are yet to be searched, a fourth pit was found but empty, justified that the workers simply ran out of time, even though they would had a rough 20 years until the death of the emperor to finish the last pit.
The Terracotta Warrior pits were apparently ransacked by an enemy of Qin shortly after his death, his men stole various treasures and weapons from within the pits and burned the pits.. But while terracotta cannot be destroyed by a fire, the supporting wooden beams holding up the pits simply burned away, not causing the entire sites to collapse, only partial damage is seen.

You should check your sources. Work was interrupted by a revolt which the very enemy you mentioned helped lead. There's also a legend of a farmer seeking a lost sheep and accidentally burning down the entire mausoleum, perhaps actually the pits.

Quote

While reading this you may think to yourself, those numbers add up – 700,000 workers could dig and fill three pits in eleven years, that’s easy. However, there is something else, these pits weren't even the main attraction of Qin’s mausoleum. No, the centrepiece in this grand design was the ultimate burial ground.

The Emperor’s burial chamber took 38 years to complete, which either means that the construction began two years before the Emperor’s reign, or that it was finished two years after his death – and they would have buried a rotting carcass, which I doubt.

Again, sources. Parts of the tomb was still under construction during the reign of his son, Qin Er Shi, even though Qin Huang was enterred. (It was in fact he who ordered the live burial of his father's concubines and the workers) This is perfectly in keeping with the Chinese tradition of filial piety. Old Qin died on the road. From the accounts, he was already pretty ripe by the time they got him back to the capital.


Quote

My favourite part however, is the inclusion of one hundred rivers flowing with mercury – and this feature is the reason why this elaborate tomb hasn’t been excavated - archaeologists are worried about the effects of the mercury. To be perfectly honest, that’s a fair enough reason to not excavate something, however where did all this mercury come from? Surely, it would take more than 38 years to collect, transport and store enough mercury for one hundred rivers.

In 1724, The Spanish galleons Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe and Conde de Tolosa went down in the Carribean each carrying aprx. 250 tons of mercury for gold processing, all mined and processed by hand. It's a cinch it didn't take them 38 years to collect it.

Quote

The tomb of the Qin Emperor is only marked by a small mound in the ground, which could be identified as any hill near the Terracotta site. How can it be that it only took 38 years to create an underground city, filled with terracotta people and one hundred rivers flowing with mercury? How can it be that no one has bothered to ask these questions?

Maybe beacuse you're the only one who sees these as insurmountable problems?

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#8    The Puzzler

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

I've seen some of the Terracotta Warriors, they bought some of them to Australia for World Expo 88, which I went to.

http://www.foundatio...aboutzones.html


This article from 2009 talks about them being a hoax...

http://slothsonthemo...cotta-hoax.html

Edited by The Puzzler, 29 May 2013 - 03:31 PM.

In an mmm bop it's gone...

#9    Abramelin

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:38 PM

You gladly accept these "warriors" are a hoax, Puzz, but you are still in doubt about the Oera Linda Book.

Why is that?




#10    LucidElement

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:50 AM

Just read this.. "conspiracy theorist, there is one very important point to consider: The only archeologist to ever examine the Terracotta Warriors on location have been approved by the Communist Chinese government. No foreign archeologists have ever examined the Warriors that are in the pit."

http://tripologist.c...cotta-warriors/

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#11    The Puzzler

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:47 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 29 May 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

You gladly accept these "warriors" are a hoax, Puzz, but you are still in doubt about the Oera Linda Book.

Why is that?
I never said I accepted them as a hoax, I pointed out that his ' theory' was already out there. If the article is correct it states the Chinese Government has stated they hoaxed it, so why would I choose to not believe that?
As it stands I'd never heard of them as a hoax until I Googled it after seeing this thread.

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#12    Oniomancer

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:14 PM

View PostThe Puzzler, on 30 May 2013 - 09:47 AM, said:

I never said I accepted them as a hoax, I pointed out that his ' theory' was already out there. If the article is correct it states the Chinese Government has stated they hoaxed it, so why would I choose to not believe that?
As it stands I'd never heard of them as a hoax until I Googled it after seeing this thread.

It seems there is a hoax, but not the kind being inferred:

http://www.guardian....2/china.germany

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#13    third_eye

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:30 PM

they're still reproducing the terracotta sculptures the very same way they were made all those years ago ...
guess you'd have to redefine what means authentic or real in this particular case.

Of course the ones at the site can't be moved ... its too fragile and still belongs to the Emperor ... long dead though he may be ...
the Chinese are leery about disturbing the dead ... believe it or not.


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' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

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third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#14    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:21 PM

Anybody ever looked at base of these statues to see if there is a stamp "Made in Hong Kong"....


#15    third_eye

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:42 PM

the ones in Xi'an are much cheaper than the Hong Kong counter parts believe it or not ...

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' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer





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