By 215 BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s tomb is almost finished. The chamber where his body will rest is the size of a football field and will be hermitically sealed. Then the tomb will be covered with a million tons of earth creating the hill we see today.
However, the Emperor doesn’t plan to die. Seeking advice from his doctor, he is given mercury capsules. At the time, it was believed that mercury would increase longevity. Having lots of sex with multiple partners was also considered another way to increase life. The emperor follows the doctor’s advice and sends the doctor on an expedition to find an elixir for immortality.
The emperor isolates himself and delegates the power to rule the empire to those he trusts most. These men suppress free thought. Entire libraries are burned. Those who try to hide documents are branded on the face and sentenced to a life of force labor–mostly on The Great Wall. Anyone who resists is buried alive.
Professor Jeffrey Riegel, University of California, Berkeley, says that Chinese archeologists have no immediate plans to unearth the tomb, because there is no way to safeguard the contents from decay.
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