Magazine topic: 
Science and technology
Total votes: 141

Ancient technology

by : 

One of the most famous archaeological discoveries in all of history is The Terracota Army. It's also called the Terracotta Warriors and Horses and they were found by farmers digging for a well on the outskirts of Xi’an in 1974. Becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, the spectacular figures continue to attract millions of visitors from all over the world. Yet the excavations are unfinished. Famously, archaeological work at the site and the accompanying Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor has been allowed to slow down until technology advances enough to preserve the artefacts currently buried underground. In addition to this, safety concerns have been raised regarding the unusually high levels of mercury found on the soil. Allegedly this is from the mercury streams which were inlaid in the floor of the burial chamber, but only time will tell if this ancient tale is true.

Currently 8000 soldiers have been found, each one with a distinctively different look. This was achieved through an early use of assembly-line-type construction. The warriors were assembled using moulds, with 8 different heads to choose from, and features being added with additional clay by skilled craftsmen. Studying the warriors and their horses offers historians an important insight into this period in Chinese history. The technology used to assemble the underground army was truly remarkable. Over 40,000 bronze weapons were found, and after more than 2000 years they still appear sharp. How is this possible? The ancient Chinese managed to use protective chrome plating, something which was thought to have been invented in Germany in 1937! Chinese metallurgy was thousands of years ahead of its time.

When it is finally uncovered, the sight will truly be spectacular and much more will be understood about China’s first Emperor and the level of technology the ancient Chinese possessed.

Language level: 
Have you ever seen any ancient archaeological sites? 


linolo09's picture
linolo09 7 October, 2016 - 08:11

I haven't been to any archeology sites that are well known but I've been to a colosseum in Turkey and a witch burning ground.

38 users have voted.
englishmeow's picture
englishmeow 20 April, 2016 - 00:56

I am confused on the spelling on artifact. In the article it said "artefact", but I have read in many places that the spelling is "artifact". So I am confused on what is the correct spelling. The article is pretty interesting though. I would love to visit this place in China.

51 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 20 April, 2016 - 03:45

Hi englishmeow. You probably already know that there are sometimes small differences between British English and American English, and that's the case here. The British spelling is 'artefact' and the American spelling is 'artifact'. If you type 'artefact' into the Online dictionary on this page, you can see both spellings, and you can hear both words pronounced too. :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

45 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 19 November, 2015 - 13:33

I know the picture in the article, It appears many times in our History textbooks. Chinese history is very complicated and have many important stages.
I have never seen any ancient archaeological sites and I think it 's not necessary for me to discover them. I like ancient site which are on surface of the earth. I am only impressed by the hugeness of "the great wall of China", it is longer than the length of my country !

61 users have voted.
DaisyB's picture
DaisyB 24 November, 2015 - 11:22


Yes Chinese history is very complicated but I like learning about it and visiting old sites. The Great Wall is certainly huge, I saw it near Beijing and there were so many stairs to climb! What country are you from?

45 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 24 November, 2015 - 13:02

Oh no…! Did you know bodies were buried inside The Great Wall? I've heard that a part of the wall gained its support from a slave… Scary…!!
I think Chinese history is not so complicated apart from names, it's mainly a history of repeated struggles for ruling power.

47 users have voted.
DaisyB's picture
DaisyB 1 December, 2015 - 01:10

I heard rumous of bodies under there, such an interesting thought! I think that's what inspired the third 'Mummy' film, have you seen it? True, the names are the most complicated part of Chinese history, but it is in British history too, so many of the Kings had the same name!

52 users have voted.