Shaanxi Province, China (CBS) -- Statues of entertainers have been unearthed during the third excavation of the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The statues were found in a pit numbered K9901. With an area of 800 square meters, the pit is located in the southeast corner between the walls of the inner part and the outer part of the mausoleum.
Up to now, archaeologists have found the relics of more than 30 life-size statues in the pit and successfully restored six of them.
Most of the statues in K9901 Pit are shirtless and have "beer bellies" and bare feet.
Archeologists estimated that they were statues of entertainers or acrobats in the imperial palace as acrobatics was rather popular during the Qin Dynasty according to historical records. Also found were several giant statues with their heights reaching more than two meters.
Zhang Weixing, leader of the archaeologists excavating K9901 Pit, said they might be the performers who lifted others during performances.
Besides, archeologists unearthed a hollow bronze ball and statues with convex ornaments and exquisite decorations on their clothes. Zhang said the bronze ball was possibly a tool used to perform acrobatic tricks.
The K9901 Pit was first found in June 1999. As a part of the third excavation of the Mausoleum of Qinshihuang , the excavation of K9901 Pit began last August and is still going on.
The third excavation of the mausoleum began in 2009. The previous two excavations were done in 1974 and 1985, which unearthed life-size terracotta warriors, a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting soldiers of Qin Shi Huang and a crucial part of the mausoleum complex.
According to historical records, Qin Shi Huang began to build his mausoleum when he was 13. The huge project involved more than 700,000 people in its construction for 38 years up to the death of the emperor.