The Ter­ra­cotta War­riors

Vision Magazine - - Destinations -

Chi­nese arche­ol­o­gists have ex­ca­vated three ma­jor pits near the em­peror’s tomb con­tain­ing the ter­ra­cotta army, re­veal­ing more than 8,000 sol­diers, 130 char­i­ots with 520 horses and 150 cav­alry horses. These sol­diers were dis­cov­ered in long lines and sta­tioned in ac­tual mil­i­tary for­ma­tion to guard the em­peror’s tomb and pro­tect him af­ter death. De­spite the num­bers, the life-sized sculp­tures ex­hibit in­cred­i­ble in­di­vid­u­al­ity, with vary­ing height and dis­tinct uni­form, hair and fa­cial fea­tures. Some fig­ures wore caps and loose tu­nics, oth­ers had braided hair and car­ried ar­moured vests and all were strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned in ac­cor­dance to their rank.

Af­ter the em­peror of the Qin Dy­nasty died, nu­mer­ous ter­ra­cotta fig­ures were van­dal­ized and burnt. Pain­stak­ing restora­tion and con­ver­sion tech­niques have been per­formed to piece them back to­gether. In­side the pits con­tain­ing Ter­ra­cotta war­riors, ar­chae­ol­o­gists have also dis­cov­ered over 40,000 bronze weapons, such as spears, cross­bows and ar­row­heads that ap­pear to re­main ex­tremely well pre­served. The First Em­peror’s le­gacy re­veals a great deal about China’s his­tory as well as the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of an­cient Chi­nese crafts­man­ship and its ad­vanced met­al­lurgy tech­nol­ogy in use 2,000 years ago.

To­day’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tion tech­niques are in­ad­e­quate to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of Em­peror Qin’s burial cham­ber. It there­fore re­mains an un­touched and un­ex­plored un­der­ground mau­soleum, leav­ing in­tact many se­crets and won­drous trea­sures buried within it.

But Em­peror Qin Shi Huang will al­ways be re­mem­bered as an im­por­tant sem­i­nal fig­ure of China’s his­tory – the founder of the first uni­fied em­pire, the Qin Dy­nasty, and cre­ator of ex­tra­or­di­nary ar­chi­tec­tural won­ders.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.