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China unearths ruined palace near terracotta army

Excavations near Xi’an reveal vast ancient palace complex a quarter of the size of Beijing’s Forbidden City.

The palace is the largest complex discovered so far in the emperor’s sprawling 22 square-mile (56 square-km) second-century BC mausoleum, which lies on the outskirts of Xi’an, an ancient capital city in central China, an associate researcher at the Shaanxi provincial institute of archaeology told China’s official news wire Xinhua.

It is an estimated 690 metres long and 250 metres wide – about a quarter of the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing – and includes 18 courtyard-style houses with one main building at the centre, according to the researcher, Sun Weigang. Sun called the palace a clear predecessor to the Forbidden City, which was occupied by emperors during the later Ming and Qing dynasties. Both were built on north-south axes in keeping with traditional Chinese cosmology.

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Story: Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian | Photo: PA

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