According to historical records, Qin Shihuang began to build the cemetery in the year after he ascended the throne (247 AD). Prime Minister Li Si designed it and General Zhang Han supervised the construction. A total of 720,000 people were recruited. It was completed in 208 BC and took 39 years. This majestic Mausoleum of the First Emperor at the foot of Lishan Mountain is not only famous for its world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses, but also attracts much attention for its many unsolved mysteries. Let’s take a look at the eight mysteries of Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum.
Mystery 1: How deep is the Qinling underground palace?
The Qinling Underground Palace is the largest underground palace in the Qin and Han Dynasties, with a scale equivalent to five international football fields. Archaeological drilling has further confirmed that the deep and grand underground palace is a vertical cave type. Sima Qian said that it “crosses three springs”, while “Han Jiuyi” says that it is “extremely deep”. It means digging to the point where it can no longer be dug. How deep is the extremely deep underground palace?
According to Chinese-American physicist Mr. Ding Zhaozhong, who used modern high-tech detection, it is estimated that the depth of the Qinling Underground Palace is 500 to 1,500 meters. The latest drilling by domestic experts and scholars in the fields of cultural relics, archeology, and geology shows that the actual depth from the entrance to the bottom of the Qin Mausoleum underground palace pit is about 26 meters, and the deepest to the surface of the Qin Dynasty is about 37 meters. But whether this is the case still depends on further verification by archaeological exploration.
Mystery 2: How many doors are there in the underground palace?
How many tomb doors were built in the underground palace of the Qin Mausoleum? According to the “Historical Records”: “After the important event, it was hidden. The middle gate and the lower outer gate were closed. The craftsmen were all hidden and no one came back.” The craftsmen were inside the middle gate. Busy at work, suddenly the central and outer gates were closed, leaving “no comeback” for the craftsmen. This involves both the Zhongxian Gate and the Outer Xian Gate. Among them, the Inner Xian Gate is self-evident, and the three gates of the Underground Palace seem irrefutable.
Mystery 3: What is the explanation for “Shanggui Astronomy”?
The record of the underground palace of the Qin Mausoleum as “astronomy above, geography below” comes from “Historical Records”. What does it mean? The famous archaeologist Mr. Xia Nai once inferred: “‘Astronomy above, geography below’ should be the painting on the top of the tomb. Or line-engraved diagrams of the sun, moon, and stars, which may still be preserved in the Mausoleum of the First Emperor in Lintong today.”
Mystery 4: The mystery of “mercury” buried in the underground palace
Records of the use of mercury in the mausoleum of the First Emperor to drain rivers and seas can be found in “Historical Records”. However, whether there is mercury in the mausoleum has always been a mystery. Geological experts Chang Yong and Mr. Li Tong came to the Mausoleum of the First Emperor twice to take samples. After repeated tests, it was found that “mercury anomalies” were found in soil samples from the seal of the First Emperor’s Mausoleum. From this, scientists have drawn a preliminary conclusion: The record in “Historical Records” about the large amount of mercury buried in the Mausoleum of the First Emperor is reliable.
Mystery 5: How much do you know about the treasures in the underground palace?
In the late 1980s, archaeologists unearthed a group of large-scale painted bronze chariots and horses on the west side of the underground palace. The accuracy of the shapes of the chariots and horses and the exquisite decoration are rare in the world. There are such exquisite funerary objects on the outside of the underground palace. It is conceivable that the funerary objects in the underground palace are rich and the collection is exquisite.
Mystery 6: Did Qin Shihuang use a copper coffin or a wooden coffin?
What kind of coffin did Qin Shihuang use? “Historical Records” and “Book of Han” clearly record: “The inside was smelted with copper and the outside was painted with lacquer.” “It was covered with pearls and jade and decorated with emeralds.” “The beauty of the coffin is beyond compare.” ” Sima Qian only left a vague record of “laying the copper into the coffin”. Therefore, some scholars concluded that Qin Shihuang used copper coffins. However, from careful reading of the documents, Qin Shihuang may not have used copper coffins.
Mystery 7: How does the underground palace’s automatic launcher work?
Qin Shihuang took great pains to prevent tomb robbing. According to the “Historical Records”: “He ordered the craftsmen to make mechanical crossbow arrows, and they would shoot at anyone who penetrated.” This shows that a set of concealed crossbows were installed in the underground palace. When external objects touch the bow, it will Will launch automatically. If the record is true, this should be the earliest automatic anti-theft device in ancient China. How the Qin Dynasty produced such superb automatic launchers more than 2,200 years ago is also a mystery.
Mystery 8: Is Qin Shihuang’s body intact?
However, according to historical records, Qin Shihuang died on his way to patrol during the scorching summer season. After more than 50 days of long journey, the body was transported back to Xianyang for funeral. According to contemporary body protection experience, generally the body protection must start immediately after the death of the deceased. If there is a slight delay, the body itself has begun to change, and no matter how advanced the technology is, it will not be able to do anything. The interval between Qin Shihuang’s death and burial was nearly two months. Based on this, it is speculated that the possibility of Qin Shihuang’s body being well preserved is very small.