Documentary: China’s Terracotta Army
Qin Shi Huang, founder of the Qin dynasty, ruled a unified China as its first emperor from 221-207 B.C. Among the many massive building projects he ordered during his reign was the earliest version of China’s Great Wall, which ran along the country’s northern border and was designed to protect against barbarian invasions. But Emperor Qin’s most memorable project was the massive mausoleum complex he had constructed for himself near the ancient city of Xi’an. Guarded by an army of more than 6,000 life-size terra cotta soldiers, the emperor’s tomb would remain hidden for more than 2,200 years after his death. Now, 40 years after its historic discovery, explore some surprising facts about the Terra Cotta Army.
The Terracotta Army or the “Terracotta Warriors and Horses” is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District,Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.
Why It’s Amazing
- Part of the world’s largest ancient imperial tomb complex —part of a mostly unexcavated necropolis 6 km (4 mi) square!
- One of the top archaeological finds of the 20th century
- 2,200 years old! — It dates back to the uniting of China under one emperor, who’s buried there.
- The largest find of its kind (about 1,800 different life-size statues have been uncovered)
- Incredible detail: 175–190 cm (5’9–6’3) tall, every one different in gestures and facial expressions, some even with color showing
- All have single-edge eyelids! Legend says the First Emperor had single-edge eyelids, so all his Terracotta Army were made with them.
Things You May Not Know About the Terra Cotta Army
- Qin Shi Huang’s burial complex was the largest in the world—and it was probably never completed.
Qin was an effective and powerful ruler, but he was also known for his cruelty.
Each soldier in the Terra Cotta Army has distinct facial features.
Their weapons were extraordinarily well preserved.
The emperor’s tomb itself still hasn’t been excavated.
You can read more about them like “Why it was built, Histrory, etc., ” here – Click Here
Image from WikiPedia here :- “Terracotta Army, View of Pit 1” by Jmhullot – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terracotta_Army,_View_of_Pit_1.jpg#/media/File:Terracotta_Army,_View_of_Pit_1.jpg