It is of great significance to explore the evolution law of shrinkage cracks in soil sample structure for the rational protection of earthen ruins. In order to study the dry shrinkage deformation characteristics of Zhouqiao earthen soil, an indoor dry shrinkage test was carried out. In order to further reveal the internal mechanism of soil shrinkage cracking and surface tension change, the surface tension gradient parameter is introduced. Based on SEM images, the microscopic model of Zhouqiao earthen soil was established in ABAQUS software, and the fracture evolution was simulated. The results show that the fracture evolution process of soil sample can be summarized as: tensile stress field, single main fracture, secondary horizontal and tertiary deep fractures, and the formation of fracture network. The duration of tensile stress field and single main fracture is long, while the duration of secondary horizontal and tertiary deep fractures is short. The mechanism of crack types can be summarized as follows: local shear, local tension and local mixed tension shear. With the development of crack, it gradually develops from tensile force to mixed tensile shear force, and the main crack extends outward perpendicular to the stress surface. Due to different length of water molecule migration path, the upper soil sample is more likely to produce large shrinkage deformation than the deeper soil sample, and causes the development of deep cracks. With the stability of water migration path, horizontal cracks become the main factor for the development of soil cracks. By analyzing the rose chart of fracture rate, it is found that the fracture rate of the soil sample in the upper part is generally lower than that in the lower part, and the fractures are mostly concentrated in the direction of 90° and 270°, indicating that the micro capillary pores and excessive internal shrinkage of the soil sample are the reasons for the cracks. The normalization results show that the model can better reflect the generation, evolution and development of soil micro damage in Zhouqiao site. The research results have reference value for the repair and protection of soil fissures in Zhouqiao site.