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Terra cotta Warriors

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1106
  • Category: Warriors

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My recent trip to China brought me to the city of Xi-Yan where the Terracota Warriors excavation pit museum is located. I had always wanted to visit this historic tourist attraction for years and took the opportunity. Stepping into the museum covering an area of 14,000 square meters, I come to the main chamber. I am immediately left speechless at the grandeur, and magnificence of the 6,000 full-sized terracotta warriors all buried with their various weapons, their bronze horses, and carriages all lined in neat formation stretching out below us under a high footbridge. The guide tells a story of the history of the discovery of the Terracota Warriors and learn the figures were buried with the first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 And were sometimes referred to as “Qin’s Armies.” We also learn the Terracota Army was first discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling a water well to the East of Mount Lishan, where the Wei River is located. The men dug the well for hours until Yang Xi Man, suddenly struck something. At first, thinking it was only a stone in the way, he asks another villager to help him remove it. When it was discovered the “hard stone” was a terracota soldier, who is one of 8000 terracotta figures buried underground in Xiyang for more than 2000 years.

The villagers search for water to combat a coming drought, unveiled something much more magnificent- the discovery of the greatest archeological find of the Century. In Chinese history, the discovery of the terracotta warriors is important both for its vast scale and for its realistic detail and aesthetic accomplishment of the buried sculptures. Order#31117941 Pg.2 I continue to shoot some panoramas down each row while I listen to our guide go on to tell us the details in each warrior’s face is life-like and different. The soldiers are 1.8 meters tall and each wears helmets and armor on top of intricately crafted fine features. The figures were crafted by according to the actual soldiers, which explains why every warrior has a different face. The soldiers carry battle weapons, such as swords, crossbows, javelins, bows and arrows. Real-life sized horses are also contained in the vault, each with chariot drawn by a team of four. They are the soldiers who stand guard outside the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Ti. Qin Shi Huang Ti, united China ruling it under the title of first Emperor. After unifying China, he and his prime minister, Li Si passed a series of major reforms aimed to cement China’s unification. They took on several construction projects, most notably the precursor for the Great Wall of China.

Despite his autocratic rule, Qin Shi Huang is regarded by many today as the founding father in whose unification of China has lasted for more than two Millennia. Qin Shi Huang Ti, overlooked the construction of the terracotta mausoleum began in 246 BC and is believed to have taken 700,000 workers craftsmen and 38 years to complete. Qin Shi Huang, was entombed in the mausoleum upon his death in 210 BC. The grand historian Sima Qian, wrote that Qin Shi Huang, was buried beside great amounts of treasure and objects of craftsmanship as well as a life-like replica of the entire universe complete with gem encrusted ceilings, which represented the cosmos, and flowing mercury representing the great bodies of water. Pearls were placed on the ceilings of the tomb to represent the stars and planets. Recent excavations has shown high Order#31117941 Pg.3 levels of mercury in the soil of Mount Lishan, indicating an accurate description of the sites contents by Sima Qian. Qin Shi Huang tomb is located near an earthen pyramid 76 meters tall and nearly 350 meters square. The tomb remains unopened today. Qin Shi Huang’s complex tomb was constructed to only serve as an imperial palace.

The tomb is comprised of several offices, halls, various structures, and surrounded by a wall with a gateway entrance. It is said the terracotta warriors were buried with Qin Shi Huang to protect the compound as well as the remains of the craftsmen who is believed to be buried alive to keep from exposing the secrets of the tomb’s riches’ or entrance. The guide went on to describe the construction of the Terracotta figures as found both in workshops by government laborers as well as local craftsmen. It was believed they were made in much of the way as Terracotta drainage pipes at the time. This means that they are made in a factory line style of production with specific parts manufactured as well as assembled after being fired. As opposed to crafting a solid piece of Terracotta and then firing it. Upon completion, the figures are placed into pits following precise military formation according to rank and duty. The Terracotta figures vary in weight, height, uniform, and hairstyle, according to rank. The Terracotta Warriors are also proof of the incredible power the emperor must have possessed to order such a monument of the Terracotta Army.

A fire was the destruction of the figures, which burned the wooden structures housing the Terracotta Warriors. The fire is described by Sima Qian as a part of sequences of raiding General Xiang Yu army, less than five years after the death of Order#31117941 Pg.4 the First Emperor. It is believed that the effects of General Xiang’s army looted the tomb and its structures and set fire to the mauselum that lasted for three months. The fire like much of the remains of the Terracotta Warriors still survive in various stages of preservation, surrounded by the remnants of the burnt wooden structures. Today nearly two million people visit this site yearly, and almost one-fifth are foreigners like myself. The Terracotta Army now serves both a phenomenal archeological discovery and an icon of China’s distant past all over the world. I recognized and respected each one as a power as well as a military achievement presented throughout this complex tomb, most notably the 8,000 Terracotta figures protecting their Emperor. I was so impressed by what I saw and heard on the tour I found myself purchasing one of the kneeling replicas- the archer; for myself at the factory located on the premises to remember my visit to this magnificent place.

Works Cited

– WWW.chinavista.com/travel/terracotta/warrior01.html Terracotta Warriors– A fantastic Tourist Attraction in China based on material from China Tourism Magazine Monthly by National Tourism Administration of China. WWW.pic.templetons.com/brad/photo/china/xian/ Xi’an and Terra Cotta Warriors; Brad Templeton’s Photography. WWW.Travelchinaguide.com/attraction/shaanxi/xian/terra Travel China guide- Emperor Qin Shi Huang—First Emperor of China.

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