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People List




259 - 210 BC

By about 10,000 BC, people began to settle in the north of China near the Huang River to farm the land. By, 3,000 BC, they were harvesting silk, baking bricks for construction and developing irrigation systems to control flooding. The area eventually developed into seven states.

King Zheng of the western state of Qin succeeded his father at the age of 13. When Zheng was 27, he fought a series of battles between 232 BC and 221 BC. After conquering the other six states, at the age of 39, he proclaimed himself the first emperor of Qin and adopted the title Qin Shi Huangdi.

In order to keep control of his empire, he became one of the most ruthless leaders the world has seen. Anyone showing signs of opposing him was soon executed. He also demanded high taxes from the people for the upkeep of his large military force and building projects.

Qin used many different types of torture to assist his view of law and order. He destroyed all the country’s books and writings in an attempt to stop anyone looking to previous ways of life, to prevent comparison on how he was leading the country.

Quin first set out building roads and canals, then expanded his empire to the west and south to the border of Vietnam.

The northern states had built walls for protection from tribes to the north of China, named Hsuing-Nu, or known in the west as Huns.

The emperor sent thousands of people not needed to work on farms and slaves he had captured to extend the walls and join them up. The wall was continually extended by each dynasty. Its present appearance is contributed to work carried out by the Ming Dynasty 14 – 17 AD.

Great Wall of China image

The Great Wall of China

Now known as the Great Wall of China, it stretches 1400 miles. It is said in the time of the first emperor, workers were treated so harshly, a man died for each meter built.

With his rule being so unpopular, the Emperor had many people trying to assassinate him. This led to his travels normally going unannounced. It was during one such trip that he took ill and died within a month. His death was kept secrete until the body arrived back at the capitol Xianyang as there were concerns of an uprising. With the body back at Xianyang, the emperors son announced his death before being crowned the second emperor.

The first emperor had thousands of workers forced to work on his elaborate burial mound. The mound was a bit like an Egyptian pyramid that was made of soil. It took a few months to finish the burial site so the first emperors body could be finally laid to rest.

In 2000 BC, the second emperor was overthrown by the people with the Han Dynasty taking control. It is thought that at that time, all the tombs in China containing treasures were robbed.

In 1974, as workers were sinking a well 30 kilometers east of Xian, they were 4 meters down when they found pottery in the shape of a human head. After the site had been excavated, they found more than 8,000 full sized terracotta soldiers, fully armed with real weapons, horses and chariots in battle formation.

Terracotta Army image

The Terracotta Army

The terracotta army is situated 2.5 kilometers east of the first emperor’s burial mound in a subterranean vault.

There are over 100 large burial mounds in China. It is unclear if they were all robbed as none have been opened in recent times. Many historians think they would have contained vast amounts of treasure.

The largest mound is almost twice the size of the Great Pyramid at Gisa.

The 20th Century Chinese government ordered trees to be planted on the mounds so they would look like natural hills. They hoped that if the mounds were less obvious, they would be forgotten and remain unopened.

As tourism to China began escalating at the beginning of the 21st Century with the Great Wall and burial sites being the main attractions, it is surely just a matter of time before the mounds are excavated.

First Emperors burial mound image

The First Emperors burial mound

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_Shi_Huang People List