Weapons in ancient China

The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 22 November, 2003


On a visit to China, Branwen Morgan visited the terracotta warriors and was intrigued to find that some of the ancient weapons appeared to be chrome-plated.


In 1974, while drilling for water a peasant farmer in the Chinese province of Shaanxi stumbled across the 8th wonder of the world – Qin Shuang’s mausoleum. Seven thousand life- sized terracotta warriors and over 40,000 bronze weapons have so far been unearthed in an ongoing excavation at the base of Lishan mountain. Qin Shihuang, born Ying Zheng, was superstitious and ordered their construction to protect him in the afterlife. The weapons unearthed include crossbows, hooks, lances, arrowheads, spears and swords. Most of the weapons are bronze, although a few are made of iron.

Full episode

Other Science Show broadcasts include:

Devious dolphins  6 November 2010

Sequencing the dog genome 21 January 2006

Bioprospecting 6 November 2004

Sick of SARS 3 May 2003

Letter from Edinburgh 23 August 2003

Underwater with Alvin 6 July 2002

Human Artificial Chromosomes  5 May 2001

School of the air  17 June 2000

The PhD pregnancy  11 November 2000


In Conversation with Dr Evan Harris MP               5 May 2005

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