There is one important dynasty called Qin (221-206BC) in the long history of China. Qin Shihuang (the first emperor of all ancient China who was originally known as Ying Zheng, 259-210 BC) seized the helm of Qin at his 22. After his death, a huge tomb was built together with 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and also 150 cavalry horses. In whole, they are named the Terracotta Army and the terracotta warriors take the most part of it.
Located in Lintong County which is about 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum, Shaanxi province, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses are regarded as the most great and significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Besides, Terracotta Warriors and Horses are honored as the Eighth Wonder of the World and was listed in World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
As soon as Qin Shihuang ascended the throne in 247 BC, he ordered to build a magnificent mausoleum for him. All in all, it took 37 years to complete the whole project. It is said that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied with him.
Be Known to the World
In March 1974, a group of local farmers uncovered some pottery fragments and ancient bronze weapons accidentally while they were digging a well about 1.5 kilometers east of Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum. After the excavation by archaeologists for the first time, it proved to be an oblong pit with terracotta warriors and horses. This news soon shocked the whole world. In 1976, the other two pits were discovered one by one. They were named Pit 1, Pit 2 and Pit 3 respectively by order of discovery. In 1975, a museum was set up in order to protect this amazed historic artifacts and opened to the public on October 1, 1979.
These founded terracotta warriors are all life-like and life-sized. Most of them are well-preserved. The height of them varies from 1.78 meters (the shortest) to 1.97 (the tallest). And their weights are also different. The lightest is less than 110 kilograms and the heaviest 300 kilograms. Besides, most of the figures have the traces of original colors and a few of them are even as bright as new ones.
● Pit 1: the terracotta warriors and horses here are arrayed in battle formation. Among the whole, 204 warriors are armed with bows and arrows which are believed to be the vanguard. Besides, facing outward, there is one row of warriors with crossbows, arrows and other long-distance shooting weapons to three directions; maybe they are the flanks and the rear guard.
● Pit 2: there are about 900 terracotta warriors (include kneeling archers, standing archers, infantrymen and charioteers), 350 chariots horses, 116 cavalry horses and some wooden chariots here.
● Pit 3: it is most likely to be a headquarter to direct the whole underground army.
There are some main terracotta warriors types as follows:
● sergeant warriors: they usually served as the main forces during an chariot war; the left one and right one are in opposite gesture but with same dress.
● standing archers: this kind was found on Pit 2 with crossbows and arrows as their weapons.
● kneeling archers: together with these standing archers to form an archer phalanx. They were also found on Pit 2, holding the same weapons with the standing archers.
● clay warriors: it means the common soldiers who are the main body of the whole army with a largest number. Based on their different dress, this kind also can be divided into two types: tabard soldiers and armour soldiers.
● military officers: generally speaking, this kind is in a lower position to the generals of the army.
● cavalryman: cavalryman figure founded in the Pit 2 was the earliest uncovered cavalryman object in China till now.
● charioteer: charioteers played a crucial role in ancient war.
● high class military officers: this refers to these generals.
● acrobatics warrior: acrobatics warriors have a close connection to entertainment performances in the royal court.
Note: you can have a vivid personal enjoyment while touring in Xian since there are many terracotta warriors manufactural workshops near the museum and you can buy them at your own desire.
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