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1st-century BC painted terracotta figures found in China

In this Oct. 21, 2016 photo the sculptures of the terracotta army are displayed at the Terracotta Warrior Museum in Xian, Shaanxi province, northern China. (AFP Photo)

Chinese archaeologists have found painted terracotta figures dating back to the West Han Dynasty, local media reported Wednesday.

According to China Daily, at least 16 painted terracotta figures from 202 BC-8 AD were discovered in East China's Shandong province.

"This is the first time painted terracotta has been unearthed in the Jiaodong Peninsula, which includes Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai," the daily said.

The archaeologists had begun excavation last June with the help of drones and satellite navigation.

"The terracotta figures were identified to be warriors and servants," the news report said.

Quoting director of Qingdao Municipal Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology, Lin Yuhai, the report said that one of the biggest challenges the excavation team faced would be preserving the figures' paintwork.

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