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    Thousand-buddha Cliff StatuesThousand-buddha Cliff Statues Jinan, China
    the Thousand Buddha Mountain is situated on a hill southeast of Jinan, China, and famous today for its many Buddha images that had been carved out of the rock faces or free-standing structures that were erected since the Sui dynasty of 581-618 AD and its Xingguochan Temple. The hill runs east to west and the top is over 500 feet high, becoming a park in 1959, and includes the Yellowstone Cliff to its south and the Jueshan Mountain on the east. The cliff occupies the northern flank of the hill behind the temple, while the bottom has had five caves carved out and there are about 130 Buddha statues carved into the cliff that had been done during the Sui dynasty and are still there. One of the caves houses 16 statues, and along the face of the hill, there have been many other images carved out, like temples, more Buddha statues and many structures. The temple is about half way up the hill, with 300 stone steps already built into the side of it to make the trek easier. The entire park has been developed for the enjoyment of locals and more importantly, tourists, with more and newer statues being added to the huge collection. There are many other attractions located here to enhance the area's appeal, making it more of a family area because of the additions, like go karting, souvenir shops, a chairlift and more. According to local guides, there are now over 28,000 Buddhas resting here, with the biggest Buddha lying down and stretching out for 50 feet.

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    The Terra Cotta Warriors of WeiShanThe Terra Cotta Warriors of Weishan Jinan, China
    One of the strangest and most mysterious sights that archaeologists have uncovered in the region of Jinan, China is four burial pits that are filled with hundreds of foot tall terra-cotta warriors, chariots and horses at a Han dynasty, 206 BC to 220 AD. tomb complex with continued excavations making researchers believe that the entire site may be as big as 10,000 square feet and contains thousands of figures. The large size of the complex and the warrior pits, that are considered rare in the nation, suggest that it was the tomb of a Han nobleman or relative of a ruler, since other discoveries like this, that include a tomb with 7000 life-size figures found at the site of the country's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, in 1974, or the 40,000 figurines discovered in the tomb of the later emperor Jingdi and Empress Wang from 157-141 BC. that was excavated in 1990. Some of the villagers of Sheng-Jing would make the discovery quite accidently when they were planting trees on the outskirts of their village near the Weishan Mountain area. Currently, the team of researchers digging here face a daunting task trying to work on a site that just continues to grow. As they work against the elements of cold and the clock trying to uncover and preserve the numerous 2000 year old relics, hoping to get them all uncovered before their painted decorations are gone. Another tomb has also been discovered that contains gilded bronze crossbows, rare stone reliefs and hundreds of arrows, which make them more curious about the tombs and although they did discover a body, they are sure it wasn't the tomb's owner.

January 11, 2014