Qin Dynasty's soldiers had 'sophisticated' stone armor for protection

Beijing, Dec. 21 : A new archeological discovery has shown that the sculptured Terracotta soldiers, created to look after Qin Shihuang, founding emperor of the Qin Dynasty, in his afterlife, had armor and helmets made of stone for protection.

Archaeologists believe that they have unearthed an underground armory in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province at Shihuang's mausoleum.

Zhang Weixing, deputy director of the museum's archaeology department, told the China Daily that every flake of the stone armor is linked by thin bronze strands and it can roll and flex, providing free movement for the soldiers who wore it.

Weixing asserted that every stone flake has a different radian, meeting the contours of the wearer's face, and the part of the helmet near the wearer's shoulder has a curved recess, matching the structure of the human body.

Archaeologists' examination of the helmets shows that it would have taken a person, working eight hours a day, between 344 and 444 days to complete a piece of armor with 600 stone flakes.

Weixing said that there are more than 5 million flakes in the pit, and the manufacture of the stone armor and helmets required a huge amount of labor in ancient times

Researchers said the texture and the production technique of the newly discovered relics is much more sophisticated than Terracotta Warriors and Horses because they were mainly made from leather during the Shang Dynasty, Western Zhou Dynasty and Eastern Zhou Dynasty.

The stone armor and helmets made in the Qin Dynasty using advanced manufacturing techniques will provide significant information for studying social and technical developments in ancient times, experts added.

--ANI (Posted on 21-12-2013)

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