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How Was Emperor QinShihuang's Mausoleum Constructed?

Emperor Qin's Mausoleum is situated at the northern foot of Mount Li, some 35 kilometers east of Xi'an city. Mount Li stands 1,256 meters high with trees evergreen all year around. The ShuiJingZhu (The water Classic) records: "The southen side of Mount Li is famous for gold and the northern side jade. "The main reason why the emperor selected this site as his mausoleum is due to its good FengShui.

FengShui is the art and science of positioning man-made structure in harmony with the vital cosmic energy coursing through the earth. It is quite essentially for Chinese in its concern for harmony and proportion, and for balancing man, nature and spirit.

Traditional cosmology describes how the invisible energy currents, or "Dragon Veins" , run from the sky down into mountain peaks and then along the earth, Blending heavenly and earthly energies. Natural topography the forms of hills, the direction of streams are believed to modify the natural energies, creating auspicious and inauspicious sites.

The massive construction of Emperor Qin's mausoleum created a precedent for the emperors after him. Burial mounds that conceal tombs below appeared early in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), but none of them had been as huge as Emperor QinShihuang's Mausoleum started from Emperor Qin and the emperors in the later dynasties like Han, Tang etc. began to follow. The Emperor Qins Mausoleum was originally named LiShan Garden. In ancient times, people did not worship their gods and ancestors at the graves and tombs. But it was since QinShihuang who had his resting hall built by the side of mausoleum. LiYi, covering an area of 7.5 square kilometers, which was the administrative office of the tomb, was set up in the vicinity of the mausoleum. This was the mausoleum started to be under construction soon after QinShihuang became King of Qin. The men in charge of construction were the Ministers of Qin Emperor then, such as LuBuwei, Lisi and so on. But ShaoFu, an apparatus of the Central Government, took charge of it particularly. It is estimated that construction took 38 years from 247 BC to 208 BC and it could be divided into three phases: At the beginning, the construction was on small scale, this was the first phase from 247 BC to 230 BC. The project was the second phase. It was during these ten years that the State of Qin won the battles successively to annex the other six states for unifying the country. The State of Qin was strong enough to provide considerable material resources and manpower for the mausoleum's building. Though the scale during this period was large than in previous periods, it was smaller than the one in the next periods, because the State of Qin still paid more attention on the unified wars. The third phase was from 221 BC to 208 BC, the construction came into its peak times. There were at most 720,000 conscripts worked there.

Emperor Qin died in 210 BC while on his fifth travel through the empire. He was devoted to his constant search for the elixir of immortality in whole life. He could not believe he was going to leave this world at the age of only 50. When his dead body was buried in the tomb, the entire construction of the mausoleum was not completed. According to a decree of the Second Emperor, those of his father's ladies who had no children were ordered to follow the emperor to the grave, as well as a lot of tomb builds buried alive. Emperor Qin's funeral was described by HanShu (Book of Han) as follows: " thousands of officials were buried alive with the purpose of keeping secret. " The construction was roughly finished during the reign of the Secord Emperor because a series of the peasant's revolts happened.

Emperor Qin believed that the life under the ground was a continuation of it in the world, he ordered with such a huge mausoleum to be constructed 2,200 years ago. At the same time he left his highly developed civilization to people today.

The construction of Emperor Qin's Mausoleum lasted near 40 years. Thousands of thousands of people were involved in this huge construction. When the tomb was too deep to dig in, a report arrived from Minister Lisi: " It seemed that we had reached the bottom of the earth and could not dig in any more" . Even then Emperor ordered to try again. It is apparent that the emperor cared a lot of his mausoleum and required it as big as possible.

The ideal site faces south, with rising land to the east and softly undulating hills to the west. It has a stream in the front and mountains in the back and is open to breezes in front, is dry and has no white ants. Often-these sites are used for graves: ancestors must be appeased with the best of everything.

According to FengShui theory, Emperor Qin's Mausoleum was finally decided to construct on the site with evergreen Mount Li to the south and the Wei River to the north. Another reason for the emperor to select his mausoleum here was that this site was also the burial area of Qin Kings. Since the capital of the State of Qin Kings moved, too. Ancient Chinese paid a lot of attention on burying their tribes' men nearby the capital. After the capital was founded in XianYang, the zone between XianYang and Mount Li became the burial region for the Qin family. The tomb of Emperor Qin's father is only about 10 kilometers west of him.