Terracotta Army- What is so special about it?

Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, was dissatisfied with his position and desired to rule for all eternity in 221 BC. He was a cruel and brutal ruler who quickly conquered neighbouring lands and established a massive empire known as China. Even after erecting so many monuments in his honour, his hunger for power remained unsatisfied. With the help of a team of 700,000 workers, he constructed a massive tomb that spanned over twenty-two square miles.

The interior was created to symbolize China as a country for the king to reign after death. It boasts a large bronze imperial palace with a doomed ceiling adorned with glittering stars and 7000 statues of his terracotta army ready to go to war for serving the monarch underneath it. Each terracotta warrior is created to be one-of-a-kind. Historians from all across the world tell us how complex the moulds used to create these troops, were.

Teracotta Army- What is it?

There are thousands of life-size clay models of soldiers, horses, and chariots littering the hills surrounding Shi Huangdi’s grand mausoleum in Lishan, Shaanxi Province, central China. Army soldiers were probably guarding the tomb or serving their ruler in the next life. Discovered in 1974 CE, the site contains realistic figures from ancient Chinese armies relating to weapons, armour, and chariots, as well as command structures. Shi Huangdi consumed himself with the idea of immortality, and with his terracotta army of over 7000 warriors, 600 horses, and 100 chariots, he achieved it, if only by name and deed. UNESCO has proclaimed the site of the mausoleum a World Heritage Site, even though we haven’t yet excavated the inner burial chamber.

Terracotta Army Facts You Didn’t Know!

1. In the 20th century, it was among the most important archaeological finds.

There are over one hundred ancient imperial tombs in China’s Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum, which includes the Terracotta Army. Over 8,000 statues of different sizes have been discovered. There has never been anything like it before.

Each statue stands between 175 and 190 cm high. Gestures and facial expressions vary from one person to the next, and some even show color. These texts reveal much about the Qin Empire’s technological, military, arts, cultural, and military development.

2. “Eighth Wonder of the World” is how it is referred to.

Former French President Jacques Chirac praised the Terracotta Army as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” in September 1987.

It has been said that there are seven wonders in the world, and the discovery of the Terracotta Army is the eighth miracle of the world. One cannot visit Egypt without seeing its pyramids, and one cannot visit China without seeing these terracotta figures.”

3. The creation dates back 2,200 years.

Qin Shi Huang (then aged 13) was China’s first emperor when he built the Terracotta Army. It was launched 18 years after Qin Shi Huang assumed the throne.

Emperor Qin assembled this army after his death. According to ancient beliefs, objects like statues can become animated after death.

It is a testament to the level of craftsmanship and artistry from 2,200 years ago that these soldiers are still standing thousands of years later.

4. There are mainly three vaults in the Terracotta Army Museum.

Aside from the bronze chariot exhibition hall, the museum consists of three pits and three vaults: Vault One, Vault Two, and Vault Three.

  • Vault 1: It is the largest and most impressive of the three (about 230 m x 60 m) – the size of an airplane hangar. Only a small fraction of the terracotta soldiers and horses are displayed, which numbers over 6,000.
  • Vault 2: It unveils the mystery of the ancient army array and is the highlight of the vaults (about 96 x 84 m). In addition to archers, chariots, cavalry, and mixed forces, it has the most army units.
  • Vault 3: (21x 17 m) It is the smallest room, yet a very important one. It is unknown how many terracotta figures there are, but all of them are officials. Those are the commands displayed on it.
  • The Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots: Ancient bronze artifacts are found in this museum that are the largest and most intricate in the world. The carriages weighed 1,234 kg and contained around 3,400 parts. A total of 1,720 golden and silver ornaments weighing a total of 7 kg were on each carriage.

5. Soldiers weren’t the only ones affected.

In the past 13 years, over 8,000 soldiers and 130 chariots have been uncovered. Approximately 670 horses have also been discovered.

The recent discovery of Terracotta musicians and acrobats in recent pits was accompanied by the discovery of some birds, such as a duck, crane, and waterfowl. The Emperor Qin was believed to have asked for exactly the same grand funeral service and treatment in his afterlife.

6. The statues were completed by over 700,000 laborers over 40 years.

During Qin Shi Huang’s reign as king of the Qin State, in 246 BC, the Terracotta Warriors were first built. Construction was completed in 206 BC, four years after Qin’s death, when the Han Dynasty began.

Terracotta army and tomb complex was constructed over about 40 years by approximately 700,000 laborers.

7. Farmers found it on their property.

Local farmers found the Terracotta Army in 1974 in Xi’an by chance when they dug a well while digging a well nearby.

China’s greatest archaeological site was discovered after Chinese archaeologists investigated this discovery.

8. There isn’t an exact match between any two figures.

It is worth taking a close look at them if you do not find the vast number of terracotta warriors surprising. Each figurine is unique and the delicate workmanship is astounding.

Faces of warriors are distinctively different. Each type of infantry, archer, general, and cavalry has a different expression, apparel, and hairstyle.

9. The terracotta figures will continue!

Terracotta figures have been found in three of the four pits so far. The site is much larger than that, but never think it ends there.

There are more than 56 square kilometers of ground under the guardianship of Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum, which is only part of a garrison. There are still large portions that are unearthed. Terracotta figures are being excavated and restored. There will be more discoveries of ancient terracotta figurines.

10. The site was visited by over 5 million tourists in 2015.

A large number of visitors flock to the Terracotta Army in the summer and on Chinese national holidays, especially on weekends.

During National Day week (October 1-7), over 400,000 people visited the site in 2015.

Be prepared to see a museum flooded with visitors from China and other countries. Our guides will provide you with information on the best times to visit and the best viewing spots.

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