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Qin Shi Huang- Stately and Magnificent Tomb: Mausoleum -Main Features

Year 8 History

Finding Resources in Accessit


Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.



With exclusive access to pioneering research conducted by University College London and the Terracotta Army Museum, this documentary uncovers new secrets of China's fabled warriors.


No doubt thousands of statues still remain to be unearthed at this archaeological site, which was not discovered until 1974. Qin (d. 210 B.C.), the first unifier of China, is buried, surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors, at the centre of a complex designed to mirror the urban plan of the capital, Xianyan. 

Even more than 2,000 years after his reign, Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin Dynasty has left treasures worth billions to be discovered in his tomb, buried more than 114 underground and rumoured to contain running rivers of poisonous mercury.

That’s not the only thing protecting one of China’s most powerful emperors from being disturbed from his slumber. Protecting the tomb of the Emperor is a multi-billion-dollar Terracotta Army in a model of a subterranean city. Scientists and archaeologists have uncovered bronze weapons, chariots and thousands of clay warriors and horses.

These Terracotta Warriors are vast in numbers and were once bright and colorful. Their weapons are still sharp and they reach heights of up to 2 meters.

In 1974, farmers digging a well near their small village stumbled upon one of the most important finds in archaeological history – vast underground chambers surrounding a Chinese emperor’s tomb that contained more than 8,000 life-size clay soldiers ready for battle. Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen shares the fascinating history of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum Map

Live Science

The decision whether to explore the tomb anytime soon, or ever, is up to the government of China. That decision will likely be influenced by the pace of technological progress.

The mausoleum of Shi Huangdi, actually an entire multi-burial complex which covers an incredible 35 to 60 square kilometres, was discovered in 1974 CE buried at the foot of the artificial Mt. Li near Lishan (modern Lintong), 50 km east of the Qin capital Xianyang in Shaanxi Province, central China.


The mausoleum is a vast tomb complex which covers an area of 6.3 square kilometers or 3.9 square miles, and which is centered around a tumulus. Dominating the landscape, the tumulus was long known to mark the burial place of the First Emperor, but the scale of the underground complex was unknown before the discovery of the three pits (called the Army Pits).