the

The Terracotta Army Of China's First Emperor | Qin Shi Huang Di | Timeline

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[Music]

for 2000 years there has been a legend

of a warrior king there is only one way

to survive and that is super

[Applause]

he founded a mighty country China

he was its first emperor and his empire

became his fortress protected by a great

wall the legend says he was a tyrant

driven mad by power I know who's

responsible and heaven count he cheated

death and built a tomb the like of which

mankind has never seen

but it wasn't enough he wanted to live

forever where does it come from

immortality and invite to not have it

who does a man with one extraordinary

vision how big is this supposed to be

how big is this going to be and he left

a legacy that has lasted over 2,000

years nor defies son speaks Oh

Turner

when the first emperor was laid to rest

the legend says he was the most powerful

man on earth

that for 30 years he'd subjected China

to the most violent and bloody phase in

its history yet achieved the impossible

he unified of people

[Music]

ten times as many subjects as the

Pharaohs of Egypt

across an empire that would outlast Rome

by a thousand years

[Music]

China was his

when the doors of his tomb are closed

for the final time the most fantastic

part of that legend was born

[Music]

the great ruler it said was sealed in a

bronze model of his world at the heart

of the largest mausoleum on earth

surrounded by rivers and seas of flowing

mercury

[Music]

and so the legend remained for over

2,000 years

[Music]

Jeffrey regal from the University of

California wants to separate fact from

fiction

he has come to China to examine the

latest research on the first emperor

unlocking the truth behind one of the

world's greatest legends what we knew

from these early stories from these

legends was the tale of a person who

seemed from those sources to be larger

than life almost almost impossibly large

as a as a real figure as an historical

figure even though we knew that of

course he had indeed accomplished the

unification of the Empire how did he do

it how did it how did it come about how

how could such an enormous historical

personage exist the reality of the

Emperor's life has long been shrouded in

mystery for two millennia the only

detailed information came from a single

written history compiled a hundred years

after his death the shi-jiiy the records

of the grand historian Sumathi yin the

foundation of the legend we see the

first emperor from many different

perspectives and we able to so recreate

the first emperor from the position of

his high officials from those who tried

to assassinate him from the their kings

who fought sinned against him

even the ordinary person in the street

it's an entire world that Samar Chen has

recreated for us but for 2,000 years all

we had was this text

[Music]

then in 1974 archaeologists found the

Terracotta Army it stunned the world and

the greatest archaeological find of the

20th century became the first real

physical substance to the legend

[Music]

it's scale is unprecedented

terracotta figures were known about from

other burial sites but never on this

scale never life-size or in such

incredible detail and never an entire

army if an individual could take with

him in death 6,000 figures at first and

then it grew to 7,000 and finally to

8,500 and as of and and and as of the

present present date it's even larger

and we don't really know how many

figures were created then we began to

see that yes there was some truth to

these stories it's kind of like finding

the real Camelot except that it is of

course a thousand ten thousand times

more interesting and more detail and

more fascinating

but the huge army is just the beginning

[Music]

the researchers have so far uncovered

over a hundred and eighty separate pits

and they're still digging and the more

they unearth here the greater the riches

promised by the ultimate prize the

Emperor's to itself

for 2,000 years all that could be seen

was a vast mound of earth as big as the

largest Egyptian pyramids

now professor Jeffrey regal is hoping

that new experimental archaeology will

unlock the secrets of the tomb and

finally reveal the truth behind the

legend of the Emperor for the first time

archaeologists are probing the mound and

regal hopes to be able to answer

centuries-old questions is the Emperor's

tomb actually there has it been

plundered and could it as the legend

says really contain rivers and seas of

flowing mercury

and if this turns out to be true what

does that say about the rest of the

incredible legend if someone could be

responsible for a burial complex of that

size of that enormity then yes all of

this now suddenly rings true

[Music]

the first emperor shows little sign of

greatness the day he becomes king of the

Western Chinese state of Qin it's 247 BC

and the omens aren't good the previous

king of Qin has lasted just three years

Majesty the king is dead long live the

king King Ning Chen is barely 13 years

old already the Sharks begin to circle

hungry for power and caught up at their

heart is his own mother My dear boy I'm

so sorry but the Queen has a longtime

lover the last King's advisor Liu Bei

[Music]

Magister it would be my honor to serve

you as Prime Minister let's not talk

about this since tonight but you should

confirm ankle-deep away as your prime

minister as soon as you can we all thing

is for the best sleep now good night

Iceland serve you and guide you as a

father

you will get him to do it tomorrow

once you're under be patient why should

we wait this is our time to rule

all I need is his appointment

trust me

goodnight nations like chin have always

been run as a feudal family business by

men like lube way but there is a

revolution coming that will change all

that first here in chin and ultimately

the whole of China

[Music]

the revolution will be led by a young

scholar named Lee su just months after

Yin Yin becomes King Lee su arrives at

his court looking for a job but the man

who hires and fires here is the Queen's

lover lu buwei now Prime Minister

impressed by Lisa's obvious ambition he

is quick to take him onto his staff

it's an impulsive decision he will come

to regret

[Music]

the scholar already has a clear idea of

how things work here and how to make his

name I never expected rats in a royal

palace but then why not drawn but a

chance of an easy meal conditioned by

fear control the food and the fear and

you control the rat

same everywhere

Prime Minister lu buwei allows Lisu an

audience with the young king without

taking care to be present himself

we had a strongest date within the seas

by taking advantage of our own strengths

and the weaknesses of our enemies surely

but the power Qin has at its disposal it

would be possible to completely wake up

the feudal lords uniting the whole world

under one rule this kind of opportunity

sir only comes once in 10,000 years your

destiny rarely ever creates a man great

enough to take advantage but I believe

the great ruler is you majesty and the

time is now

[Music]

lisu awakens in yunjin a realization

that real power is his he just needs the

courage and the vision to use it and

over the next decade he will do just

that

in the ten years since he came to the

throne in 247 BC pinging Jim has

strengthened his power through more he

fights for his life and for a dream to

forge a new nation China

many great Kings have tried before him

and all affair

but this time will be different because

young gen is different

the youngest king to lead his nation

into war he is its greatest warrior a

visionary leader burning with ambition

if anyone can unify China it is him

ancient China is made up of seven

warring States

six of the seven have been weakened by

endless warfare while one continues to

grow at their expense

the state of Qin well in its campaign

against the state of Zhao the Qin army

takes over 10,000 prisoners the rules of

war are explicitly prisoners must be

cared for and the day is yours and this

is yours however looking after captives

would slow down his campaign you want to

know what to do it

[Music]

there's only one way to treat Wigner's

and that is exploited there's only one

way for ten to survive and that is all

10,000 shall prisoners will be executed

and Yin Jen defines his quest for Empire

bloody utterly ruthless and totally

dependent on the army for 2,000 years no

one had any idea what that army was

really like but now it can be seen

frozen in time

for Geoffrey regal this is an

opportunity to answer his first great

question about the Emperor's meteoric

rise to power militarily how did he do

it

[Music]

joining regal is dr. yuan who has

devoted his entire career to

understanding these mysterious figures

and the military power of the first

emperor to date they have unearthed over

seven and a half thousand individual

warriors in all respects except living

flesh and blood these were real soldiers

the people who made these figures and

arranged and arranged them were

following real military procedures so

this really represents what the Qin army

looked like this gives us an idea of Qin

military formation and the way in which

the Qin Army was actually put into the

field the big surprise was that the

front three lines were highly mobile

infantry

it appears these were the Emperor's

shock troops behind them came the heavy

infantry

who in turn were supported by columns of

chariots and sweeping up behind a

fast-moving cavalry

but it's not just the precision of the

Army's formation that has astonished the

researchers it's the weapons they

carried only the metal parts have

survived but they are the finest quality

bronze weapons found anywhere in the

world one of the most incredible finds

is a sword perfectly preserved after

2,000 years in the ground

this this knotch here in the sword shows

us that this is a sword that was

actually used this was a sword that was

wielded by an actual soldier professor

yuan has explained to me that this

remarkable weapon is longer than any

sword that existed before the qin

started the qin dynasty started to make

these significantly longer Qin Armorer's

managed to perfect the art of bronze

making to give their soldiers 30% extra

reach and cutting power in close quarter

combat and there is new evidence that

shows quite how seriously the Qin took

their ability to wage war Oh a Qin

halberd part of the bronze assembly at

the top of the halberd the sharpened

bronze head was placed on the end of a

10 foot long staff making a powerful

weapon this has an inscription what it

says is that in the 5th year of the king

of Chin's reign the Prime Minister of

State lu buwei had this halberd made

that's a guarantee of its quality and

that it was made to a standard so that

he himself was being held accountable

for the effectiveness of the weapons

that the soldiers were carrying into

battle

[Applause]

the well-trained highly motivated Qin

army equipped with precision weapons and

led from the front by a ruthlessly

ambitious King creates the perfect

conquest machine

[Applause]

within seven years yang Jian captures 13

cities from the state of Han for further

20 cities from other states and repels a

combined force intent on stopping him in

his tracks

but while foreign enemies are easily

brushed aside inside his own court

unseen enemies want to destroy him

[Music]

the official history records Ying Jen's

coming of age at 20 years old as the

defining moment the entire cord is

assembled in celebration but not

everyone's watching the show the Queen

has a new favorite

[Music]

Marquess lau i in the eyes of the court

though i is a unit which is an odd

choice of companion for a woman with a

history of important lovers but lau i is

no eunuch he has fathered two sons by

the queen who they have raised in secret

and he intends to place one of them on

the throne but the cana has his

suspicions about his mother and her

supposedly secret lover

[Music]

the state of chin is not a safe place

for anybody the queen has kept her young

sons secret in the care of eunuchs

she believes are loyal to her but

loyalties change quickly and the king

has learned of their existence

[Music]

hello hi what I'm good I like what I saw

Hey oh you are so heavy knowing it's

only a matter of time before his plot to

put the eldest boy on the throne has

discovered the Queen's lover

Marquess Lau I makes a desperate bid for

power he has stolen royal seals giving

him the authority to mobilize troops so

you think you'll make a good king yes

the boys have just condemned themselves

as a direct threat to the king

[Music]

district forces under Lao eyes command

approached the palace he knows his only

chance is to catch the King unprepared

with the palace lightly guarded and

seized the throne Palace security is the

responsibility of the Prime Minister lu

buwei and he has just discovered Liao's

plan to grab power what is it the Royal

seized of missing majesty the ones used

by military commanders I strongly

recommend that we put all palace and

regional forces on high alert really low

high has disappeared it seems he may

have taken the seals if he is able to

mobilize troops the state could be at

risk

why would he do that why would a

Marquess threaten us what could he hope

to achieve

I don't know majesty

what would a unit do with a throne even

he beheaded who owned earth would he

leave it to humans don't have successes

do they move away except of course this

one does two pretenders to the throne

courtesy of my mother some eunuch now if

you don't mind I think we have a

rebellion to crush

Wow eyes forces feet no resistance as

they approach the past

what a trap is being set and they

advance straight into it

[Music]

[Music]

[Applause]

[Music]

[Applause]

Wow eyes troops are annihilated and he

is taken prisoner

[Music]

he said he did it for you you've

executed him no not yet but I think you

should come and say goodbye to armas mr.

Lau before we take care of him I'm not

going to let my boys say that of course

not mama just you the boys they can't

stay come on

[Music]

[Music]

why didn't you tell me I don't know I

below I move away

I'm not the first cream to take another

you've done more than that mama

[Music]

now lies execution is designed to send a

very clear and deliberate message soon

to be reinforced by killing every single

member of his family starting with the

most dangerous

[Music]

[Music]

and the voice line you you see them as a

threat

they are not

not now

[Music]

[Music]

[Music]

[Music]

the first challenge to jung geun's reign

is over

and the lesson has been learned ruthless

control becomes the standard treatment

for all including his own family his

mother has conspired against him and her

sons have paid the price

now iing gen is expected to add his

prime minister and his own mother to his

long list of victims lube way is under

sentence of death for failing to protect

his king but they have a special secret

bond looking for forgiveness lube away

yes for your mother but perhaps you

should have thought a bit more carefully

about who she slept with then you would

not be helped okay you speak to me like

that has any part I would dare speak to

his son to tell him the truth I can

forgive her and you forgive us I can and

will do what is right for the king of

Qin

if I choose to show mercy then it is

only the judgment of a ruler nothing

[Music]

the Prime Minister is exiled from the

king his son and the Kings mother both

parents lives are spared but within the

year lu buwei

will commit suicide a disgraced and

broken man waiting in the wings his own

Protege the scholar Lee su he will be

the new power behind the throne

perfecting a totalitarian ideology ready

to impose on a unified China by 227 BC

the Qin state has swallowed three of the

independent states of China like a

silkworm devouring a leaf panic spreads

ahead of the advancing war machine the

state of yin is next in the firing line

and they know they will be powerless to

resist a diplomatic mission is sent to

the Qin court its aim to halt the

advancing bandwagon in its tracks

they bring peace offerings - kinging Jin

the first is a map of Chin's conquests

guaranteed to flatter the king the other

gift is the severed head of a renegade

Qin General returned as a sign that Yin

will not Harbor Chin's enemies but the

men carrying them are no diplomats they

are professional assassins and neither

expects to return from the mission alive

the plan is for one assassin to distract

Ying Jen by showing him the head while

the second gets close enough to strike

at his heart with a dagger bring it up

[Music]

the first assassin keeps his nerve but

his accomplice is frozen with fear bring

me his gift and let him wait outside

he's going to have to act alone

[Music]

[Applause]

since Lau is attempted coup engines

greatest fear is betrayal and

assassination now no one in court is

armed except him and no one except him

can summon troops engines new security

system has failed the great Conqueror

the invincible King was inches from

death and he knows it from now on

paranoia grows in engines mind for the

rest of his reign images of death haunt

his dreams

it isn't so much the act of dying he

fears but the realization that he is

filling the spirit world with the souls

of those he sacrificed

souls who will all as soon as he is dead

seek terrible revenge there is only one

thing that can protect him in the next

world

a spirit army

[Music]

since the moment he became King Yin GN

has planned for his own death a tomb is

being constructed which by tradition

will contain replicas of his most

precious possessions including his army

good that tradition will continue very

good but on a scale no one has ever seen

before how big is this supposed to be

[Music]

well it's a simple question

how big is this supposed to be

one of the most incredible aspects of

the Terracotta Army is size

not just the army itself but every

single soldier

each figure measures six feet tall an

army of giants by the standards of the

time China's Kings were known to bury

miniature terracotta soldiers as spirit

guards for the afterlife never a full

sized army with state-of-the-art weapons

he felt that in death that the spirits

of his enemies might actually attempt to

attack him and so he needed a spirit

army these clay soldiers who would whose

whose very substance would last forever

he would need them in order to protect

him from these from these spiritual

enemies that he'd had before but it

seems even the Terracotta Army was not

enough closer to the Emperor's tomb

mound a new pit has been discovered a

research team under dr. Duan Jing Bo

we're expecting to find an imperial

palace guard but all they have on earth

are empty suits of armor made of stone

and no sign of any terracotta warriors

to wear them

Reagle believes the evidence points to

an emperor more and more obsessed with

death and betrayal oh yeah when we look

at Chinese historical texts it's

unprecedented that we would find or know

about stone armor and in fact the belief

of mr. Duan and his team and and their

colleagues is that the burial of this

stone armor may have had something to do

with the rituals surrounding worship of

the spirits of dead soldiers who

suffered violent deaths

whose whose bodies then could not what

we're torn apart could not undergo the

the proper kinds of burial ritual they

didn't have in the Chinese definition of

things a happy death so something had to

be done for them because otherwise they

might become vengeful spirits they might

turn against the first emperor himself

so here in this pit something is being

provided for them

so the back

the wands team has so far found over 200

sets of stone armor in this one small

pit

but this excavation is just the corner

of a pit as big as the Terracotta Army

itself tens of thousands of stone armor

suits were made ready for the spirits of

dismembered soldiers

by 223 BC Yin Jen stands on the brink of

achieving his ultimate dream the

unification of all of China he's taken

all but two of the seven warring states

with the largest state of Chu

the last great prize to be claimed but

the conquest machine has stalled

the Chu army has destroyed his first

invasion force and they're more than

ready to do it again

now half a million choose soldiers

threatened to ending Jen's dream of

empire in a desperate bid to overcome

them he commits everything he has new

provisions better weapons and half a

million more men

the Qin Army appears to have dug in for

a long siege of the state of Chu two

vast forces of equal size faced each

other and the fate of China hangs in the

balance what will ultimately tip that

balance in favor of Qin can be seen in

the remains of the Terracotta Army

itself

[Music]

one of the greatest finds is a perfect

replica of a Qin war chariot on its

front a model of one of the deadliest

weapons ever created a Qin crossbow the

assault rifle of the 3rd century BC

[Music]

no functioning originals exist but

weapons expert Mike Loades

has had one recreated from the Chinese

model it's a mighty weapon tremendous

power the power comes from the bow this

is a composite structure made of horn

and sinew and that gives a really

powerful spring the real key to this is

the trigger mechanism the secret to how

the whole thing works

it's credibly ingenious so what we've

got here is a weapon that will give us

range a weapon that would deliver energy

deliver power to have a thump into the

enemy sufficient power to drive a

crossbow bolt straight through flesh and

bone

2:23 BC and the Qin army appears to be

an immovable obstacle dug in for a long

siege of the state of Chu

[Music]

it prompts the two generals to

reconsider their advance position

and they decide to withdraw to more

defendable lines

[Music]

but what looks like the static Qin

encampment is in fact an illusion the

entire force is primed and ready to move

immediately the moment their opponent's

backs are turned

[Music]

[Applause]

[Music]

the last great obstacle to young Jen's

Imperial dream is finally crushed the

sole remaining independent state of Qi

succumbs without a fight by 221 BC the

ultimate prize is one Qin is now China

his China

at the age of 34 young jen is crowned

with a veil of stars symbolizing the

divinity of China's first emperor

now his ministers are ready to suggest a

title suitable for the greatest ruler in

China's history your majesty of old

there were the celestial sovereign the

terrestrial sovereign and the great am I

not the first great sovereign Emperor or

Kass ruler of the whole love China or am

I missing something

majesty your vision humbles and inspires

us it shall be so and my son will be the

second divine Emperor and his son the

third and so on on to ten thousand

generations your majesty

he called himself Qin Shi Huangdi

literally translated this means he was

the first august god of the Qin he

regarded himself not only as a deified

figure but as an initiator a creator

someone who was beginning a long lineage

and so with the help of his chief

minister Lee Suh the first emperor Qin

Shihuang put in place a system of

governance that would long outlast him

Lee su who arrived as a young scholar

the year the emperor came to the throne

has now become the new power behind it

for 20 years he's perfected a system

which will sweep away China's feudalist

past once and for all

but not everyone is ready for the

revolution most illustris divide office

Emperor the feudal lords are destroyed

may we recommend that the sons of the

imperial household be established as the

new fuel rods everyone expects that with

unification the feudal order will

continue with power and privilege taken

from the Emperor's enemies and given to

his family and friends may please his

majesty to give his consent but they are

in for a shock

Lee su

only Lisu has correctly read the new

political climate because he created it

this is insane we have spent centuries

enduring endless warfare at the hands of

the feudal lords and now that we finally

put them down we want to create more of

the same but these will be members of

the Imperial Household exactly the only

force in a thousand years that has been

able to create peace is the divine power

of the Emperor there must be no loyalty

but to the Emperor and his divine power

must be executed in a most efficient way

possible through officers who had no

other interests except to fulfill his

divine order without this the chaos and

warfare will return which of course we

do not want

excellent

he's right the Minister for justice is

right I shall personally appoint six

governors for the six command areas of

the Empire 36 in all which of course is

six times the number of the states I

have conquered

did I mention six is my favorite number

Lee soos totalitarian philosophy is

called legalism and there is evidence

that shows how total the power of that

new regime became rules Turks has been

deciphering a series of legal documents

from the tomb of a minor official in the

distant reaches of the new Empire the

text sets down rules that govern every

part of every citizens daily life and

the penalties for transgression if you

look at the punishing system in the Qin

legal system then physical punishments

that include mutilation tattooing for

example tattooing the body tattoo in the

face cutting of parts of the limbs these

were traditionally one among the most

severe punishments for example there's

there's one provision here that says if

you have two people Texas fornicate then

they ought to be send off to the market

which is a polite way of saying that

there will be beheaded on the market

square so even private life here is part

of sort of the tentacles of chin of chin

law now to be universally applied to

everybody who was a subject you know of

this new world order called the Qin

Empire

[Music]

in 220 BC Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi sets

off to survey his new empire for the

first time ever a secure and peaceful

land he intends to keep it that way

millions of deccan scripted soldiers are

now freed from fighting ready to be

reused the Empire is one but it must be

secured with a great role

for centuries the northern edges of

civilized China have been ravaged by

nomadic tribes and though the frontier

towns have had defensive walls there

were always plenty of gaps now that will

change

with the major wars over labor is

plentiful and building begins on the

greatest engineering project of the

ancient world a single impregnable

barrier to seal the Empire a Great Wall

of China

[Music]

made of compacted earth it is 30 feet

high and 3,000 miles long at its peak of

production the records say over a

million people are enslaved to build the

Great Wall perhaps a quarter will die in

the process

the Emperor's demands on labor keep on

growing with the Empire secure he turns

his eyes to the fulfillment of his next

great vision sending thousands more

workers to build a tomb befitting the

first divine ruler of all of China today

all that can be seen is a vast earthen

mound as big as the great Egyptian

Pyramid at Giza

the first clue to its possible contents

was the Terracotta Army but that was

nearly a mile from the tomb Mound

when archaeologists dug into the space

in between an incredible world opened up

to date they have found over a hundred

and eighty separate pits containing so

much more than soldiers

[Music]

hundreds of terracotta dancers musicians

and acrobats were built to the same

exacting standards as the Emperor's

precious army and the Imperial craftsmen

freed from making weapons created

perfect birds to stand in the artificial

lakes of buried gardens and perhaps the

most exquisite bronze artifact ever

found a half scale model of the Imperial

chariot to convey the Emperor in his

underground world

the burial mound it turns out is in fact

at the center of an enormous necropolis

an above ground and underground city for

the for the first emperor it would

provide him it would continue to provide

him with all of the trappings of power

with all of the protection that someone

of his status required but there was no

way to see the ultimate symbol of power

the tomb itself yet again it was the

ancient official history that provided

the only clue but this time the account

seemed too incredible to take at face

value Lin Chang tortie knew sure your

swatch and ginger t-shirt the Emperor

sent more than 700 thousand convicts to

dig down through three rivers and fill

it with bronze on the floor of the vault

there was created a map of his entire

empire all of China

he had artisans stick jewels into the

ceiling to represent the sky the cosmos

above the streams the ocean the text

said were filled with Quicksilver with

liquid mercury he had some kind of

machine which circulated that mercury to

imitate the actual flowing of the waters

that it would be a kind of water clock a

machine and that as long as it kept

running the Emperor would continue to

exist in his enclosed world

a bronze tomb filled with liquid mercury

the idea seems beyond fantasy the weight

of the mercury alone would be more than

500 tons even though China has mercury

or an abundance how could one man

command such resources and could it be

proved

[Music]

the tomb of the first emperor of China

has been sealed for over 2,000 years but

there is a way in using a new

combination of techniques including

ground-penetrating radar

electrical resistance measurements and

core samples

the research team under Duan Ching Bou

have been able to build up a

three-dimensional model of the entire

complex beginning with the outer walls

of the necropolis

and revealing for the first time the

mausoleum structure hidden beneath the

mound an early surprise was that the

mausoleum appears as a vast divided

pyramid with passages leading to the

tomb from the east and west and when

they took the all-important readings

from the ground underneath the pyramid

they discovered the tomb itself seen

here as a clearly defined area marked in

blue an underground space hermetically

sealed for over 2,000 years

it measures as big as a football field

and though at first the pyramid appeared

to be a solid closed structure covering

over the tomb the outer surface of the

tombs roof is in fact open to the sky or

it would be if it hadn't been covered by

a million tons of earth 2,000 years ago

Don and his team have been probing that

earth for almost a decade tracing the

shape of the pyramid beneath their feet

with a series of four thousand core

samples and each one jeffrey regal

realized could potentially hold an

incredible piece of evidence direct from

the tomb itself because if there was

mercury there over the centuries mercury

vapor could seep through the roof and

into the surrounding soil where regal

hopes they may be able to detect it

a hunt on Darla handle mm ah

does this ever shoot the hunting of a

team yeah samples of this sort enable us

to see the the supporting structure the

rammed earth structure that supporting

the entire Mound

but of course what really interests us

is what is the burial like so if the

legend about the emperor having placed

in the base of his tomb a map of all of

China of all of his empire with rivers

of flowing mercury if that legend is

true then we can expect that a test of

this soil will tell us whether or not

it's true will either provide us with

corroboration or won't

the Chinese archaeologists have no

immediate plans to excavate the tomb

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they have no way yet to preserve its

contents and no desire to disturb the

Emperor's spirit so for the foreseeable

future

the mercury test may be their only way

to understand what's inside each of the

4,000 soil samples from the tomb mound

has to be individually analyzed for

mercury content that process has been

ongoing and is almost complete

[Music]

by 215 BC the tomb itself is well on the

way to completion but the man it is

intended to house suddenly has a change

of heart no the idea of an eternal

afterlife

however grand is no longer enough I will

live on

i well yeah

[Music]

215 BC the first emperor of China is

once again on the road he no longer

trusts the security of his own court and

has started taking practical steps to

extend his life his doctors prescribed

repeat doses of something long believed

to increase longevity some sex with

multiple partners but his new court

physician Xue Phu has suggested

something more chemical a substance

whose eternal properties are thought

ideal for the Emperor's tomb properties

xufu hopes will keep him out of that

tomb indefinitely if consumed the

mystical substance a mercury have you

got it

yes majesty while at work Majesty all

the world's alchemists agree that

mercury is highly indicative of

increased longevity how increased sire

as with sex given the right application

it can help a lot

how much longer one can expect to live

is not going to what is where does it

come from

zu for immortality

where can he be found why do I the first

divine sovereign Emperor of the whole of

China not have it and if I do not have

it sire there is a legend of a place

where The Immortals live a series of

islands caught upon lie where we believe

the Immortals reside forever there are

two types of Lydia want to restraint in

the flight of the hung so upon death

find him majesty you will go there find

them and bring them back to me and then

you will personally administer them to

me majesty but the whereabouts of the

islands are unknown and I have no means

to get there even if I knew where to go

give me whatever he needs

yes majesty

this is an imperial mission and my

missions do not fail

no majesty do you believe me yes majesty

[Music]

come sufu is given a small army of his

own with which to conquer death

[Music]

thousands of young men and women are

conscripted to help him search for the

islands of Peng Lai the Emperor takes

his first course of mercury pills

if xufu is right

it might help hold back the years until

the elixirs can be found

but rulers rarely die of natural causes

accident or attempted assassination

history doesn't record but the real

cause of the fire in the Imperial

encampment makes little difference for

the Emperor there are always enemies

unseen enemies enemies within

he starts to withdraw further into his

own world giving greater power to those

close to the throne by 213 BC Lisu now

promoted to prime minister has been left

free to expand his totalitarian state

beyond the mundane rules of life he

decides it is now necessary to control

thought free thought is to be suppressed

starting with an act of terrible

destruction

entire libraries of bamboo Scrolls are

burned only a single copy of each

agricultural and medical text is kept

secure in the imperial archive

everything else is destroyed

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there are worse shocks to come

those who try to hide their works are

rounded up in their thousands branded on

the face and sentenced to a life of

forced labor mostly on the great wall

and those who resist further are buried

alive and all the time the Emperor's

contact with reality is being loosened

still further aided by his mercury

consumption the dose has been increased

over the last five years as his desire

for immortality has become more

obsessive and the elixirs of the islands

of the Immortals have failed to

materialize but far from prolonging his

life

the Mercury's actually having the

opposite effect

take it away

liquid mercury was known to Chinese

alchemists as the only substance that

could dissolve the eternal incorruptible

metal gold to the ancient mind it must

have seen like a supernatural substance

there was nothing like it in the natural

inclination is to think it has some

power that maybe if you took it into

your body and then it would pass this

magical property on to you and even

perhaps help you prolong your life but

not in its liquid form pure mercury

cannot be absorbed by the human body so

the Chinese alchemists made soluble

compounds they knew were easily

digestible and this it is believed is

what the emperor took for years the more

he took it in whatever form he was

taking it the more dangerous it was

going to become as the more and more

mercury is absorbed into the body then

it begins to attack the nervous system

so slowly you'll get a slight tremor and

that will get worse and worse but the

damage that's real being done to your

body is in the brain begin with you

become talkative later on you become

slightly aggressive people became very

confrontational they were obsessed with

being watched but eventually of course

it becomes total paranoia this is from

Gangu

directly from kangju well how do they

know where I am well anyone revealing

the Emperor's whereabouts is under

instant sentence of death find out who's

responsible and have him killed

seven years after Qin Shi Huangdi began

his quest for immortality the mercury is

starting to poison his body as well as

his mind among other things his kidneys

are beginning to fail he knows his time

is running out and there is only one

place left to turn to save himself your

divine son speaks

you see the world is united and last I

erased out establish law i punished this

order and bring calm to the four corners

of the earth and now all under the Sun

and the stars are one mine mine all

guided by one single will mine

Oh one day

I shall be God shall be God

[Music]

[Music]

thirty-five years after he came to the

throne Qin Shi Huangdi embarks on yet

another Imperial tour but this one is

different where once there was a

prosperous and powerful nation today the

nation rots the land is starved of

labour for the Emperor's great projects

famine looms and there's nothing anyone

can do

the Emperor's obsession with immortality

is uppermost in his mind the legal

system takes orders only from the tongue

and while the emperor was rational Lee

su was ready to implement his vision

with ruthless efficiency but now the

vision is turning to madness listen I

have a fallen star the Emperor's latest

diversion is a meteorite which fell to

earth in a distant province to Qin Shi

Huangdi it is a sign that his call to

the heavens has been answered

do you know what it means no Majesty

this is a defiant message there will be

no after Qin Sephardi majesty you don't

suppose that I'm just gonna die of

course not

we're searching for the elixir of things

are sooo fulfilled then you know that

never came back

I sent a spies to find them and do you

know what it said to me they couldn't

find the island because their way was

blocked by a race of giant fish majesty

we will move heaven and earth soon I had

a dream about I see God in human form

me I am the sea guard I've ordered the

armor is to build me a giant crossbow so

I can put the fish in the sea the

historical records say the Emperor

reached the island of Jaffe on the coast

of China in the tenth month of 210 BC

[Music]

where he hunted giant fish with a

crossbow

the great realist is now immune to

reality the divine ruler warrior king of

the Qin has gone in his place a madman

whose every whim must be accommodated

here coming for you summon ed bro of the

whole of China and brawn choose London

and now I command you to let my people

boss

over missile oh my god while the emperor

plays in a world of his own his advisers

plan what to do with his empire once his

poisoned body has gone the way of his

poisoned mind they know it won't be long

with Lee su is the Emperor's second son

who hi

who hi is not the Emperor's first choice

to succeed him

but the emperor will not live forever

and lisa has plans to change the

succession the turning from the coast

Qin Shi Huangdi becomes ill and hurries

back to his capital he writes to his

eldest son who soon telling him he is to

succeed as the second emperor but the

Imperial convoy is stopped in its tracks

[Music]

in the seventh month of 210 BC the

journey is over the search for

immortality has ended majesty

majesty

the great empire has lost its maker at

the age of 50 Qin Shi Huangdi is dead

the state is rudderless and this is

exactly the moment Lee su and his

supporters have been waiting for he

decides to keep the death secret to give

himself time to put his plan into action

they know the letter to his son was

written but they don't know if it was

ever sent

[Music]

their luck is in the letter is still

there

[Music]

they now have the power to change the

Imperial succession and it will bring

the Empire to its knees

[Music]

following his death in 210 BC the body

of the first emperor is taken back to

the giant mausoleum that was built in

his lifetime and after Qin Shi Huangdi

the most powerful man on earth has been

laid to rest the last few precious

objects are ready to place beside him in

the depths of his vast tomb

but while the formal rites proceed

according to the Emperor's wishes

outside in the Imperial City a power

struggle is underway

from a recently open pit close to the

Emperor's tomb comes startling new

evidence to suggest that the imperial

family was tearing itself apart

professor Yan thinks that the death of

this individual was very much linked

with the struggle for succession after

the death of the first emperor what is

remarkable is that there's an arrowhead

embedded in the base of the skull here

behind the ear it looks as if this is a

person who was shot at close range

that means of course that this was no

accident this was a an assassination

by tradition the successor should have

been the first Emperor's oldest son

but several members at the court

conspired to have a more junior member

of the family succeed to the throne

after the junior member became the

second emperor he then saw to it that

those who had opposed him his brothers

his sister's more distant relatives who

were all members of the Qin Imperial

house all of them were then killed

[Music]

[Music]

the Emperor is ready for his final

journey and he will not go alone

[Music]

while his chosen successors are being

assassinated hundreds of his favorite

concubines prepare to make their final

act of devotion they will stay with

their master to start a new Imperial

family in the next world

but while the terracotta soldiers stand

guard over their Emperor outside real

soldiers are fighting real battles

rebellion stirs and there is evidence

that graphically shows how far that

rebellion spread right into the compound

surrounding the Emperor's tomb the stone

armor reserved for the Emperor's dead

soldiers shows clear scorch marks from

an intense fire that swept through the

burial pits the Terracotta Army itself

was in pieces when it was discovered

smashed by rioters the one area the

rebels will never reach is inside the

tomb this is the Emperor's final resting

place and he must never be disturbed

[Music]

it has long been decided that not only

will he take his concubines and his

Terracotta Army but the designers the

architects the engineers and builders of

the tune all those who know the way in

and out will be forced to stay hundreds

are sealed inside the tomb

and all its secrets will stay secret all

except one The Legend of the rivers and

seas of mercury

[Music]

4,000 Souls apples taken from the tomb

mound of the first emperor have been

tested and checked at Beijing University

for traces of mercury now Geoffrey Regal

is about to see what could be the

greatest revelation since the discovery

of the Terracotta Army he's come to meet

dr. Liu who's been processing the

samples and the results are ready the

first piece of news is that there is

mercury there in huge concentrations and

it's not just found anywhere each red

dot is a core sample each blue one where

mercury is found and the dark blue show

the highest concentrations and all of it

within the actual tomb just as the

ancient historian said laid out in the

shape of his empire wow this is this is

an extremely interesting map this

concentration here corresponds to BA

high the C that we know the first

emperor visited in his search for

immortality

this concentration in the south and

southwest would correspond to the great

marshlands the great wetlands of the

southwest and the Yangtze River

it's just startling in fact that one

would find confirmed so neatly one would

find such a striking and exact

correspondence between scientific

evidence and ancient legend so yes

indeed just as described 2,000 years ago

when the first emperor had his

underground Palace created he did indeed

have a map of his empire he did indeed

have all of the rivers and seas

represented and those rivers and seas

flowed Quicksilver liquid mercury

forever

Qin Shi Huangdi left a legacy the like

of which has never been seen before or

since

[Music]

a nation unified for the first time with

a single written language that is still

being used a system of administration

that survives to this day and a great

wall that still stands at the edge of

his realm but more than anything Qin Shi

Huangdi created the idea of China a

people and a land as one perhaps his

desire for immortality was realized

after all

[Music]

[Applause]

[Music]