Under the famous archaeological site of ancient China, the Terracotta Army, scientists have discovered the remains of what is believed to be a sheep-drawn chariot. The finder may be more than 2 thousand years old.
The remains were discovered in the “western tomb” at the site of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi’s mausoleum, writes Live Science with reference to China Daily.
According to archaeologist Jiang Wenxiao, who is leading the excavation of the tomb, the main structure of the chariot has rotted after more than 2,000 years in the ground. As you know, the Mausoleum dates back to the III century BC.
A team of scientists found a series of six skeletons of sheep with equipment used to pull a chariot. The researchers concluded that it was the remains of a chariot that was pulled by sheep, Wenxiao said.
|Photo: Dayoo News|
Horse-drawn chariots and ox-drawn carts were common in ancient China, while a sheep-drawn chariot is an extremely rare find. However, they are mentioned in historical sources and Chinese traditions.
Legend has it that the founder of the Western Jin Dynasty, Emperor Wu (or Sima Yan), who ruled from 266 to 290 AD, rode a sheep-drawn carriage around his palace complex every night and slept where the sheep stayed. According to legend, the emperor had a harem of 10,000 wives, and this is probably how he chose which one he would spend the night with.
A team of scientists hopes that laboratory analysis of the “western tomb” burial chamber will help them determine who is buried there.
In addition to the chariot with six sheep, archaeologists have unearthed a four-wheeled wooden chariot, probably drawn by horses and equipped with an intricate rectangular umbrella. According to Wenxiao, this is the oldest specimen of this type ever found.
Copper chariots and horse-related artifacts and iron tools and imidic weapons were also found. All these finds give an idea of when iron weapons began to appear in the region.
Iryna Batiuk, “UP. Life”
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