This post was edited by 1584austin at 2018-2-4 05:52|
In a small village in China, seven farmers made a remarkable discovery that would change their lives, and the country, forever.
Homes demolished, unexpected suicide, early deaths - jobless and penniless; their find turned out to be far from a blessing.
It was March 1974 and China had closed itself off from the world. A group of farmers went out to some wasteland to dig for water, when they dug a little deeper and unearthed an ancient tomb and its 8,000-strong army.
From that moment on the lives of those seven men would never be the same, some have made parallels with the doomed fates of some excavator's of the Ancient Egyptian pyramids.
Of the seven men, four are alive today, and they are rarely credited with the most important archaeological find of the 20th century.
Following the confirmation that it was in fact the entombed army of Qin Shi Huang, the archaeologists, experts, historians and the government moved in.
Their farmland was taken away and homes were demolished to make way for a museum complex, which the farmers and villagers received little compensation for, according to a BBC report.
Wang Puzhi became gravely ill with acute heart disease and in 1997 he waited until his family were out before hanging himself. His stepson believes his suicide was due to the burden he felt he was placing on his loved ones because of his health and their inability to afford medical care.
The absolute poverty felt by Wang Puzhi in the years that followed the finding of the Terracotta Army was also felt by Yang Zhifa's two brothers Yang Wenhai and Yang Yanxin, who were also struck down by ill health and died penniless in their 50s
The four remaining brothers, now elderly, Yang Zhifa, Yang Quanyi, Yang Peiyan and Yang Xinman still struggle to survive after finding jobs at the museum signing books for tourists for £2 a day. Yang Zhifa told Swiss News in 2013 , then aged 75, that he retired from his work at the museum and little has been heard since.
Yang Quanyi spoke to the Mail on Sunday in 2007 and told them how the 'officials and businessmen' had made a lot of money, but not them
He said: "We got nothing for the discovery.
"It was the days of collective farms and we were given ten credit points by our brigade leader for finding the warriors. That was the equivalent of about one yuan [5p].
"Families here are too poor to afford medicine.
"Yang Yanxin died of a skin disease that caused his body to rot away. Yang Wenhai died in great pain at home.
he BBC reported that in 2007, Liu Xiquin, wife of Yang Quanyi, whose family home had been demolished, told the South China Morning Post, that her husband was afraid that he and his brothers “might have brought misfortune in some way, and does still wonder if maybe the soldiers should have been left beneath the ground
China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors opens in Liverpool on Friday, February 9 and runs until October 28.
Tickets are £14.50 for adults and £5.50 for children aged between five and 17