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Terracotta Warriors had real weapons

The famous Terracotta Warriors found in Qin Shi Huang’s tomb near Xi’an in China each had real weapons which were made in self-sufficient workshops.

What has been a puzzle for scientists is how so many weapons could have been made so skillfully, so uniformly and so quickly. (Qin reigned for only 11 years; construction of his mausoleum complex is thought to have started long before his death.) They now have a likely answer. A new study of 40,000 bronze arrowheads suggests they were produced in self-sufficient, autonomous workshops that produced finished items rather than parts that fed into an assembly line of sorts.

Which suggests that something akin to the just-in-time production methods used in industry today may have had a trial run more than two millenniums ago.

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Story: Jennifer Pinkowski, Washington Post | Photo: Xia Juxian, Imperial Logistics Project

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