The First Emperor

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This is an excerpt from "Tomb Robbers." Ch’in Shih Huang Ti was the first emperor of China. He had a great fear of his own death. He kept searching for a secret that would let him live forever. He also began to build his own tomb. It took 30 years. There are many legends about what the tomb contains. Some stories say it has 270 small copies of Shih Huang Ti’s palaces. Others say it has rivers of mercury. Still others say it has weapons—crossbows—waiting to shoot anyone who tries to enter. For years, the tomb was covered with earth. Then, in 1974, a peasant was plowing a field. He found a life-sized statue. Many more statues were found later. They were part of the emperor’s “spirit army,” which was supposed to serve the ruler in the next world. No one knows yet if the tomb has been robbed. Chinese archaeologists are still digging up the area. They are working very slowly and carefully. (McDougal Littell The Language of Literature, 2002)

This lesson was created as part of the Anthology Alignment Project, during which teachers created CCSS-aligned lessons for existing literary and information texts in anthologies. All page numbers and unit/week designations found in this lesson relate to the edition of the anthology named above. If you are using a trade book or different edition of this title, the page/unit/week references in this lesson will not match. Consult the content referenced in the body of the lesson to determine appropriate page numbers for your text.

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