The discovery of despotic Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s army of 2,200-year-old terracotta warriors occurred in 1974 when local farmers digging a well stumbled upon the site.
Qin (a man heavily preoccupied by death and his own legacy) enlisted 700,000 people over some 36 years to create his tomb and had the warriors made and buried near him to protect him in the afterlife. His burial complex is also said to contain 48 tombs for his concubines who were buried alive with the emperor upon his death, a fate also reserved for workers to prevent the location and design of the tomb from becoming public knowledge.
More than 7,000 life-sized warriors, archers and horses stand in military formation in three pits under the cover of a modern protective hanger. Pit 1 contains the infantry with an impressive collection of 6,000 warriors; pit 2 (which is still being excavated) is filled with cavalry and soldiers; and pit 3 (mostly unexcavated) seems to be the command centre with some 70 high-ranking officers. Made of local clay, the intricacy is astonishing, especially the individual hairstyles on the hand-sculpted heads, no two of which are alike. Further artistry is evident in the detailed belts, footwear and clothing. Originally equipped with weaponry including spears, bows and arrows, and swords, many of which have now rotted, the figures were also once vividly coloured. Whilst now dulled by time, some figures retain traces of paint.
Terracotta Warriors is near Xi'an. Listed below are some of our Holidays with Xi'an
Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding ...