terracotta warriors and horses

Qin’s terracotta warriors and horses

18 February 2013

One of the things you must have seen. Immense, huge and megalomaniacal… It is the army of emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect him in the afterlife. The army was created around 300 BC. Some farmers accidentally discovered the army in 1974 when they tried to dig a water well.

Some  of the weapons of the soldiers were still sharp when they were found and research showed that they were coated with chromium oxid. This layer of chromium oxide is 10–15 micrometre thick and has kept the swords rust-free and in pristine condition after 2,000 years. Chromium only came to the attention of westerners in the 18th century. Many swords contain an alloy of copper, tin and other elements including nickel, magnesium, and cobalt. Some carry inscriptions giving dates of manufacture between 245 and 228 BC, indicating they were actual weapons used in warfare before their burials.

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