An ancient palace has been discovered near the tomb of emperor Qin Shi Huang by archaeologists in China, according to local media outlets.
It is the largest complex found so far in Qin's second-century mausoleum, which is home of the famous terracotta army and covers 22 square miles.
The palace is believed to be around a quarter of the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with it being estimated at 690 metres long and 250 metres wide,
Researcher Sun Weigang said the discovery includes 18 courtyard-style houses with a main building at the centre.
Sun explained the palace is a predecessor of the Forbidden City, which was later occupied during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Although the palace is more than 2,000 years old, archaeologists said the foundations have been well preserved.
They have found stony roads, walls, gates, brickwork and pottery shards.
Qin's tomb is guarded by 6,000 life-sized terracotta warriors, which were first discovered in 1974.
The terracotta army was declared a world heritage site by the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation in 1987.
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