Seeing the Terracotta Warriors

Picture of warriors.
March 13, 2015
Day 239

In 1974 some farmers were digging a water well near Xi'an, China. They accidentally made one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the twentieth century, the terracotta army of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇). Construction of the necropolis began shortly after Qin Shi Huang rose to power at age 13 in 246 BC. By the time of his death in 210 BC, the three pits containing the Terracotta Army contained 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 510 horses and 150 cavalry horses. This army was built to accompany the emperor in the afterlife. There's a ton more info about the army here and here and here.

I spent most of a day visiting the Terracotta Army. For me, the site lived up to the hype. The most impressive part was the minute level of detail. Every soldier had a unique face. Each strand of hair was individually carved. There was even tread on the bottoms of their shoes. Besides the opportunity to look at the soldiers themselves, there was a lot of information about the history of the army and its discovery. In fact, the Terracotta Army was one of my favorite sites in all of China.

Here are some of my pictures:

Picture of warriors.

Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army attracts visitors from around the world.

Picture of head.

A few of the warriors are available for closeup viewing.

Picture of warriors.

Every warrior has a unique face.

Picture of head with hair.

Even the hairstyles can be different for each warrior.

Picture of woman.

The excavation is still in progress.

Picture of warriors.

The newly excavated warriors are tagged.

Picture of cracked warrior.

Some of the terracotta is cracked.

Picture of chipped paint.

The paint oxidizes during the excavation process.

Picture of painted warrior.

Here's what one of the warriors looked like originally.

Picture of army.

Many of the estimated 8000 soldiers have been excavated...

Picture of mounds.

But much of the army remains buried.

Picture of terracotta.

And many are waiting to be reassembled.

Picture of horses.

In addition to the warriors, there are also over 500 horses.

Picture of chariot.

And there's the famous bronze chariot.

Picture of horses.

Here's a closeup of two horse heads.

Picture of archer.

Here's an example of a kneeling archer. His wooden bow is long gone.

Picture of shoe.

The intricate details extend all the way to the tread on his shoe.

Picture of general.

This guy was a general. His uniform gives it away.

Picture of gazing warrior.

Many of the warriors have a lifelike gaze.

Picture of army.

You could spend all day examining Qin Shi Huang's formidable army.

Picture of warriors.

No wonder this site is considered one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Here are the rest of my Terracotta Warriors photos.

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2 thoughts on “Seeing the Terracotta Warriors

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