CHINESE archaeologists have unearthed 110 new terracotta warriors that laid buried for centuries, an official says.

The warriors were part of an ornamental army built to symbolically guard the tomb of China's first emperor.

The latest excavation at the Qin Shihuang mausoleum in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, has been underway since 2009. These findings are helping experts get a better picture of life, 2,200 years ago.

This is the third excavation of the Qin Shihuang mausoleum’s "number one pit".

Archaeologists have so far found 310 items. They include fragments of horse carriages, weapons, and tools. There’s even some painted Terracotta.

Some of the finds have amazed the team. For the first time, defensive armor has been uncovered - including this shield, made of Rattan.

Even though it’s fairly rotten, its shape and colourful design remain intact.

Archaeologists have also uncovered evidence of fire. The remains of burnt wood and hemp strings show that the figures were attacked not long after they were placed around the tomb.

Who was the attacker? Many believe that person to be Xiang Yu -- a prominent military leader who led battles against the Qin dynasty.

The latest excavation is also turning up powerful evidence that the terracotta warrior site was plundered at some point in history. A hole has been found inside the "number one pit", which appears to have been made by thieves.

The current excavation is being carried out in much more detail and at a slower pace than the previous two. It’s hoped that modern techniques and knowledge will help to preserve these invaluable findings for generations to come.


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