|Picture 1 of the mound in which the emperor's tomb is with. I took this picture in a moving bus.
If the emperor could not live forever, he as least wanted to be remembered for that long. The emperor had been planning
the preparations for his death since the age of thirteen when he had first ascended the throne after the death of his father,
even before he was the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. It is the largest mausoleum ever discovered in the world. It is bigger
than the Great Pyramid of Egypt. It covers a total of 2.18 million square meters. The tomb alone covers 220,000 square meters,
its bottom measuring 485 metes by 515 meters, and was designed to be 166 meters high, but after years of weathering and damage
it has been reduced to 76 meters.
It originally had inner and outer sections, and an underground palace that has been discovered. The construction involved
700,000 laborers and took 36 years to be completed, just in time of his death. To this date it has not been excavated.
It is located just east of Xi'an on the Lishan Mountain in the south overlooking the Wei river to the north. The land from
Lishan to Mount Hua is supposedly in the shape of a dragon with the imperial tomb in the dragon's eye. Today the tomb would
be passed over as it is a hill covered in vegetation, but the treasures that lay untouched for more than two thousand years
is unimaginable. But based on an old legend told by China's most important historian Sima Qian, and modern technology, we
have some idea.
There seem to be three major elements in the emperor's
necropolis and those are gold, silver and mercury.
Mercury is a transitional element that is found in its ore cinnabar in nature. It is the only metal element that is a liquid
at room temperature. It is sometimes referred to as quicksilver, and its symbol in Hg. The atomic number is 80 and its atomic
mass is 200.59. It is located in the periodic table in group 12, period 6, in the d-block. It is a fair conductor of electricity
and alloys easily with many metals such as gold, silver, and tin.
Mercury has been known to men for centuries, as is why we see it in ancient China.
Gold is a solid at room temperature. It is attractive and highly valuable, known for at least 5500 years, and is the most
malleable of all metals. It can be found in nature ore but is most often alloyed with other metals, and is a good conductor
of electricity and heat. The atomic number of gold is 79, atomic mass 196.97, symbol Au, found in period 6, and group 11 on
the periodic table of the elements.
Silver is also a solid at room temperature, and has been known since the prehistoric times and is thought to have been
separated from lead since 3,000 BC. Silver is very ductile and malleable. When pure it is the greatest conductor of electricity
and heat out of all of the metals, and tend to tarnish when it comes in contact with the air. Its atomic number is 47, atomic
mass 107.87, its symbol is Ag, located in period 5, group 11 in the periodic table of elements.