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'Terra Cotta Warriors': Where are the Weapons?

Few weapons, such as these, were found at the site because many were stolen when the tomb was raided several years after Qin Shihuangdi's burial.
Few weapons, such as these, were found at the site because many were stolen when the tomb was raided several years after Qin Shihuangdi's burial. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 20, 2009

Most of the figures here are soldiers; indeed most of the ones found in the pits are, too. So where are all their weapons? You'll find only a handful in the show. Indeed, there were fewer than expected when the pits were unearthed, given the large number of warriors.

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When the figures were originally placed in the pits, they carried a full complement of military hardware, including swords, daggers, spears, crossbows and arrows. In a strange twist, many of those weapons were put into service, although not in the way that Qin Shihuangdi expected. Not long after his death, peasants broke into the burial site, spiriting off most of the good stuff to use in an armed uprising that eventually ushered in the Han Dynasty.


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