Chinese Legion of Guizai Stone Statues outnumbers Terracotta Army

The discovery of stone statues was made in Guizai Mountain, part of the Nanling Mountains range on the Hunan Province, China. Image Credit - Qian Guofu.

Though not quite as pretty and detailed as the famous Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, a new discovery of statues in Guizai Mountain, Hunan, China outnumbers the Qin Emperor’s army of stone soldiers, and date back over 5,000 years -over 2,500 years earlier than Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army.

Located on what is an ancient worship site, the discovery of over 5,000 statues arespread over 15 square kilometres and the vast majority are believed to have been carved before the Qin dynasty era.

The anthropoid stone statues range from 30cm to 100cm in height, and take the form of several ranks of soldiers and military officiers, as well as civilian officials and pregnant women. Some are believed to be buried up to two metres below the ground.

Guizai Mountain, part of the Nanling Mountain range, is believed to have been chosen as an altar by a prehistoric civilisation in the region and adorned the site with sculptured stone statues for ritualistic and commemorative purposes.

Tang Zhongyong, director of the Dao County Administrative Office, described the statues to China’s People’s Daily as being “another wonder of the world”. The mountain’s name is derived from locals’ name for the statues – “Guizaizai”.

The announcement comes during the Xiang Gan Yue Gui Archaeology Summit Forum held in Yongzhou, Hunan Province and the find represents some of the oldest stone statues to have been found in China with a third of the stone sculptures dating back over 5,000 years. The remainder are believed to have been produced between 2,000 to 5,000 years ago during the Qin, Han, Wei and Jan dynastic eras.

The discovery comes just a few months after 114 Terracotta Warriors were discovered in the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang after excavations were carried out in Pit 1 (Watch the Video) in Xi’an. The latest finds in Guizai Mountain represent the latest in a series of archaeological discoveries in a country which continues to uncover it’s ancient past.

You can read more about the famous Terracotta Warriors on Heritage Key, including the Top 10 Interesting Facts and watch Ann’s pick of Terracotta Army videos from Youtube. Not enough for you?Then see the Terracotta Warriors in 3D detail in Heritage Key Virtual – register here for free!