Xian, China

Built around 210 B.C. by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, this life-sized replica of Huang’s army was

assumed to be only a legend until they were re-discovered by some local farmers in 1974.

Over 8,000 soldiers, each an exact replica of a member of Huang’s army, along with 130 chariots and 520 horses

are meant to guard the emperor in the afterlife.

The emperor’s tomb is nearby, with its legends of diamond-covered ceilings and mercury-filled rivers running

throughout the vault where Huang has been buried for thousands of years. Now that the Terracotta Army has

been discovered, many people are wondering if the tales of Huang’s tomb are also true.

But I’m not sure if we will ever know the truth about Huang’s tomb. While we do know where it is,

no one seems to want to disturb the late emperor. Citing everything from potential mercury poisoning and booby traps

to a reluctance to disturb the dead, the Chinese have yet to excavate the tomb.

We’re talking real-life Indian Jones stuff here!

*These pictures were scanned from film originals, so the quality is less than ideal.

k.h. 2004