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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: China’s Terracotta Warriors

Airs Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Terracotta warrior figures displayed at the rear part of pit one. These figures have been restored and are the subject of "China's Terracotta Warriors."

Explore some iconic historical moments while debunking long-held myths and shining new light on past events in the series SECRETS OF THE DEAD. Advances in investigative techniques, forensic science and historical scholarship offer new evidence on forgotten mysteries.

Qin King No. 1 Tomb
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Above: Qin King No. 1 Tomb

Mr. Zhou Tie is cleaning a Terracotta Warrior head.
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Above: Mr. Zhou Tie is cleaning a Terracotta Warrior head.

"China's Terracotta Warriors" - The extraordinary story of China’s 8,000 terracotta warriors begins two centuries before the birth of Christ. The first emperor of China was preparing an extravagant tomb for his journey into the afterlife — and decreed that he be protected forever by a monumental army.

Since then no one has seen these ancient warriors in their original splendor, brightly painted and fully armed, ready to protect their Emperor for all eternity. Now this once mighty army will be returned to its former glory for the first time. Row upon row of life-size, lavishly painted warriors will rise from the dust of two millennia.

But how was a terracotta army of this size made in less than two years using the technology of 2200 years ago? Led by archaeologist Agnes Hsu, SECRETS OF THE DEAD shows that the Chinese may have Henry Ford beat by more than 2,000 years with their own assembly line used to produce the 8,000-strong ghost army.

SECRETS OF THE DEAD is on Facebook, tumblr, and you can follow @SecretsPBS on Twitter. Past episodes are available for online viewing.

Video

Preview: Secrets Of The Dead: China's Terracotta Warriors

Above: "China's Terracotta Warriors" reveals that the Chinese may have had Henry Ford beat by more than 2,000 years with their own assembly line used to produce 8,000 lavishly painted terracotta warriors.

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