A DORCHESTER museum is preparing to celebrate 40 years since a spectacular archaeological discovery.

On March 29, 1974, a group of Chinese farmers uncovered the terracotta warriors as they dug a well near the tomb of the first Emperor of China.

The pit holding 6,000 life-sized terracotta statues has become a worldwide fascination and has been dubbed the eighth wonder of the ancient world.

The Terracotta Warriors Museum in Dorchester, which boasts a number of figures representing the different types of warriors that were found, will be giving a free gift to all those who visit on the 40th anniversary tomorrow.

They will all receive a statue of a kneeling crossbowman in a presentation box.

The life-sized warriors in the Dorchester museum were specially replicated by the museum and conservation technicians in China.

Museum curator Tim Batty said: “The terracotta warriors are unique.

“Not only are they life-size and individually modelled in clay, but the detail of the figures is astounding.”

The High East Street museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm. More details on 01305 266040 or visit terracottawarriors.co.uk