China to ban mining near terracotta warriors site 2009-07-08 20:17:19   Print

    XI'AN, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Northwestern China's Shaanxi Province wants to ban mining in the area around the terracotta warriors, to protect the world heritage site from destructive jade collectors, a government official told Xinhua Wednesday.

    "The municipal government of Xi'an approved the banning around Lishan Mountain on Tuesday, where the terracotta warriors site is," said Chen Yongli, a Xi'an publicity official.

    He said the ban still needs to be endorsed by the provincial government before it can take effect.

    "The ban aims to protect the ecological environment around the site by curbing the pervasive mining activities around the site," he said.

    Chen said the ban will be effective within on area of 1,000 square km centered on Lishan.

    He said the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 BC-210 BC), China's first emperor, next to the sites of the terracotta warriors would also be included in the no-mining areas.

    Over the past years, swarms of collectors could be seen drilling into the mountain, shearing wooded peaks into barren stumps and dumping tonnes of rock in search of Lantian jade, which has been considered a royal gem for 4,000 years.

    Archaeologists began the third large-scale excavation of the terracotta warriors on June 13 after a halt of over 20 years, hoping to find more clay figures and unravel some of the mysteries left behind by the "first emperor."

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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