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BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- Rice fills the bowls on many Chinese tables -- and also the cracks in its ancient buildings, and maybe even the Great Wall, Xinhua news agency reported.
"The legend that ancient Chinese craftsmen used glutinous rice porridge in the mortar while building ramparts has been verified," it said in a report seen on Monday.
Archaeologists researching an ancient wall around the city of Xi'an, a former imperial capital and home to the famed terra cotta warriors, were stumped by the ingredients of a resilient mortar holding bricks together.
The hardened paste reacted similarly to glutinous, or sticky, rice in chemical tests, Qin Jianming, a researcher with the Xi'an Preservation and Restoration Center of Cultural Relics, was quoted as saying.
"Thus we can conclude that the sticky material was in the mortar," Qin said.