Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum
Emperor Qin Shihuang (259--210 B. C. ), alias Ying Zheng, ame to the Qin throne at the age of 13, and took the control of the state at the age of 22. By 221 B. C. , he had annexed the six rival principalities, the Qi, the Chu, the Yah, the Hah, the Zhao and the Wei, and established the first feudal empire in China's history. In the year 221 B.C. when he unified the entire country, Ying Zheng created the position of emperor for himself. He named him-self Shi Huangdi, the first emperor, in the hope that the imperial throne would be succeeded one generation after another and be-yond. From then onwards, the supreme feudal rulers of China's dynasties continued to call themselves Huang DJ, the emperor. After he had annexed the other six states, Emperor Qin Shiw huang abolished the enfeoffment system and adopted the prefecture and county system. He standardized legal codes, written language, axle length for carts, currencies, and weights and measures. To protect against harassment by the Hun aristocrats, Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the Great Wall to be built. All these measures played an important role in eliminating the causes of separation and divisions between the states and strengthening the unification of the whole country, as well as promoting the development of economy and culture. They exerted great influence upon China's 2,000-year-long feudal society.
Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered books ~of various schools to burned. Those on the Qin Dynasty's history, agriculture, divin tion, and medicine were spared. He did this in an attempt to push forward his feudal autocracy in ideological fields. As a result, China's ancient classics were destroyed. Moreover, he once ordered 460 scholars to be buried alive. Those events were later called in history "the burning of books and the buring of Confucian schol-ars. '
Emperor Qin Shihuang, for his own pleasure, once conscripted tens and thousands of convicts, and in a large—scale construction project, had over 700 palaces built on the Guanzhong Plain. These palaces stretched several hundred miles and he would seek pleasure from one palace to another. Often, no one knew where he was ex-cept for a few attendants. It is said that he did not visit all the palaces in his life. Later, when Xiang Yu came to the Guanzhong Plain, he set fire to these palaces, reducing them to ashes. The fires are said to have lasted for three months. From this statement we can imagine how grand and magnificent these buildings must have been.Emperor Qin Shihuang conscripted more than 700,000 con-victs to build his mausoleum, immediately after he came to the throne, so as to ensure his peaceful, eternal sleep. It took 38 years to finish this project. Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum is locat-ed in Lintong County, 35 kilometers east of Xl'an. Surveys show that the necropolis had two enclosures, an inner one and an outer one. The circumference of the inner one was four kilometers and the outer one six kilometers. The tumulus was originally 120 metres high. Although it has undergone 2,000 years of erosion by wind and rain and human destruction, it still stands 46 metres high. The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang was built on the sweat and blood and the bones of thousands of labouring people. In a time when science and technology were backward and transporta-tion was difficult, the building materials had to be transported from sichuan, Hubei and other faraway places. The river near Lishan :Mountain originally ran from south to north. To avoid the danger of flooding and to guarantee the safety of the tomb's construction, a lot of manpower was needed to change the river course, so that it would flow from east to west. Additionally, Lishan Mountain was a mountain lacking stones. Large amounts of stones had to be cut and carried back from other mountains to the north of Weihe River. This and other work had to be done by hand. We can well imagine how hard it would be. According to The Historical Records written by Si Maqian, inside the tomb was a hall where a hundred seats were placed for high-ranking officials. Buried inside were rare and valuable stones and jewellery. Rivers and lakes of mercury were constructed to symbolize the earth. The sun, the moon, and stars of pearls and gems were made to symbolize the celestial body. Eter-nal lamps were lit with man-fish grease

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

(allegedly taken from a kind of four-legged and human-looking fish living in the East China Sea).
The tomb was also protected by crossbows which would dis-charge automatically, if anyone tried to plunder the tomb. In July 210 B. C. , Emperor Qin Shihuang died of disease in 'Shangqiu, the vicinity of the present-day Pingxiang County in Hebei Province, while on an inspection tour of the country. Li Si, Prime Minister, tried to keep the news secret, for he was afraid the princes would scramble for the throne and someone would seize this opportunity to raise a rebellion, as the emperor had died outside the capital. Li Si hurried to the capital of Xianyang with the emperors's corpse on a chariot. There were only few people who knew the truth. Because the journey was quite long, and the weather was very hot, the corpse decomposed. In order to cover up the smell, they had one of the chariot fully loaded with abalone fish. Only when they got back to Xianyang was the obituary released. stealthily changed the emperor's dying edict and forced Fu Su, the emperor's eldest son, to commit suicide. He helped the second son, Hu Hal who was later called Emperor Ershi (the second emperor ) to inherit the throne.
Emperor Ershi held a grand funeral for his father. But mean-while, he cruelly ordered, that all the palace maids who had lived with Emperor Qin Shihuang, but had not given birth to any chil-dren be sacrificed. To keep the secret of the mausoleum, the builders, who installed the internal arrows and arranged the trea-sures inside the tomb, were enclosed alive. The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang was plundered and destroyed several times in history. The earliest and by account, the largest was carried out by Xiang Yu. According to historical records, after setting foot on Guanzhong Plain, in 206 B. C. , Xi-ang Yu, conscripted more than 300,000 people to "dig up the tomb, and burn the palaces". They plundered the tomb and carried off burial artifacts for three days and nights. As a result, the mau-soleum was terribly destroyed. But archaeological surveys have proved that the underground palace of the mausoleum remained in-tact.
The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang was quite rich in cultural relics. Besides the terra-cotta worriors and horses, and colour-painted bronze chariots and horses that have been unearthed so far, which are not only numerous in quantity but also different in style.
Some of the bricks and tiles have on them elegant patterns and figures inscribed characters such as "Zuo Si Gao Tile", "Zuo Si Wei Tile", "Deng Gongshui" etc. All this shows, that the bricks and tiles used to pave the floor of the mausoleum, were fired by special
governmental departments and controlled by special officials. In the vicinity of the mausoleum were also discovered four or five places
where several rows of sewer pipes ran parallel to each other. These cultural remains provide important data for the study of Qin archi-
tecture. around the mausoleum there are piles of Qin bricks and tiles which are not only numerous in quantity but also different in style. Some of the bricks and tiles have on them elegant patterns and fig-ures inscribed characters such as "Zuo Si Gao Tile", "Zuo Si Wei Tile", "Deng Gongshui" etc. All this shows, that the bricks and tiles used to pave the floor of the mausoleum, were fired by special governmental departments and controlled by special officials. In the vicinity of the mausoleum were also discovered four or five places where several rows of sewer pipes ran parallel to each other. These cultural remains provide important data for the study of Qin archi-tecture.