An­cient em­peror took his toys to the grave

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - JELLYBEAN JOURNAL -

WASH­ING­TON: Imag­ine the world’s coolest and most col­lectable set of action fig­ures. Now, pic­ture them life-size.

They’re a make-be­lieve army of war­riors and oth­ers cre­ated to pro­tect and en­ter­tain China’s first em­peror af­ter he died. This army is also known as the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors: Guardians of China’s First Em­peror.

Why was Qin Shi­huangdi (pro- nounced “chin she-hwong-dee”) so de­ter­mined to take his toys with him in the af­ter­life? Maybe be­cause he was only 13 years old when the whole project got started, more than 2 200 years ago. That’s when the child first be­came a king and when his sub­jects started plan­ning his fu­neral.

A more likely ex­pla­na­tion is this: Qin Shi­huangdi fig­ured that if you needed it in this life – and a ruler def­i­nitely needs a few body­guards – he’d prob­a­bly need it in the next life.

No two fig­ures are alike. Farm­ers found 7 000 stat­ues in 1974. Each one is dif­fer­ent. Dif­fer­ent face. Dif­fer­ent hair. Dif­fer­ent clothes.

When the war­riors were dis­cov­ered, many of them were in pieces. Each one can take up to a year to put back to­gether. – The Wash­ing­ton Post

SAND OF TIME: Ter­ra­cotta sol­diers

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