The Terracotta Warriors
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.