The tomb itself has not yet been excavated. Archaeological explorations currently concentrate on various sites of the extensive necropolis surrounding the tomb, including the Terracotta Army to the east of the tomb mound.[1] The Terracotta Army served as a garrison to the mausoleum and has yet to be completely excavated.[2][3]
Archaeological studies 
Disputes over possible excavation

Bronze swan

Beginning in 1976, various scholars proposed to explore the underground palace, citing the following main reasons:
The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor is in a seismic zone, so underground cultural relics need to be unearthed for protection;

to develop tourism; and

to prevent grave robbery.[18]

However, opponents of such excavations hold that China’s current technology is not able to deal with the large scale of the underground palace yet. Many mistakes were made in the case of the Terracotta Warriors. For instance, scientists were unable to preserve the colored Terracotta Warriors, which resulted in the rapid shedding of their painted decoration when exposed to air.[19][20] Also the situation of the underground palace still remains unclear, so any rash digging may cause damage.[21]