Terracotta Warriors

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The Terracotta Warriors or Terracotta Army is located in Xi'an , the capital of Shaanxi Province, and a sub-provincial city in China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty.

Emperor Qin's Terracotta pits are the large attendant pits, located 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor QinShiHuang's mausoleum, symbolizing the main defending force that guarded the capitol before the emperor died. The pits were never mentioned in the historical records until Pit 1 was discovered in March, 1974 by local farmers while drilling a well. Then archaeologists began the explorations and excavations. On October 1st, Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum was opened to the public.

Pit 1, the largest pit, is a subterranean earth and wood structure. It measures 230 meters long from east to west, 62 meters wide from north to south. It's assumed that more than 6,000 pottery warriors and horses will be unearthed from this pit. All the statues are life-size and exquisitely made, representing high technology in Chinese sculptural history. They are reputed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The excavation of the Terracotta Warriors and horses provides extremely valuable data for the research of Chinese ancient politics, , military affairs, science and arts.

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

There are five sloping entrances on the four sides of the pit respectively, which were for constructing the pit in the Qin period. Once the pit was completed, the entrances were sealed immediately with wooden pillars shown in the above photo.
Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China
Located 20 meters to the north of Pit 1 at the eastern end, Pit 2 is an "L" shape. This pit was discovered in April 1976, covering an area of 6,000 square meters. It measures 124 meters long from east to west, 98 meters wide from north to south and 5 meters deep.

Different from Pit 1, Pit 2 consists of mixed military forces infour arrays: archers, war chariots, cavalrymen and infantrymen. The four arrays seemed to exist independently, but could be assembled immediately to constitute a complete battle formation during the war times. This reflects the unique strategy of Qin military affairs.

The excavation work of Pit 2 is still continuing. At present a large area of the remnants of the roof beams and small part of the pottery warriors and horses are being exhibited in the pit. It is a rare chance for visitors to enjoy the archaeological digging at the site.

Pit 3 was discovered in June 1976, located north of Pit 1 at the western end. It is 25 meters to south of Pit 1 and 120 meters to the east of Pit 2. It is of U-shape about 520 square meters, measuring 28.8 meters long from east to west, 24.57 meters wide from north to south and 5.2-5.4 meters deep. Investigation shows that Pit 3 was seriously destroyed in history. Only 68 pottery figures, one chariot and 34 bronze weapons were unearthed from this pit. Pit 3 is now known as the command center of Pit 1 and Pit 2.

The sculptural style of the pottery warriors and horses in Pit 3 impress the viewers with its realistic making. Different types of techniques are involved in making these statues, such as circular carving, relief carving, line carving and color painting. The pottery warriors and horses are delicately made and life-like. The color pigments on the statues has basically survived, which provided the precious data for studying the color painting of the Terracotta Warriors.
Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China

 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China
Standing Archer

It is one kind of infantryman dresses in an unarmored battle robe. It was unearthed from the exterior of the archer formation Pit 2. The pose of both hands shows that this figure was ready to shoot. Altogether, 172 standing archers were found in this pit.
 

Terracotta Warrior Statues Xian Shaanxi China
High Ranking Officer

This is one of seven "generals" found in the Terracotta Pits. The height, clothing and headgear of this officer all indicate his high rank. He wears double-layered robes under a colorful fish-scaled armor and a high headgear tied with ribbons under the chin. His shoes are with square opening and upward-bending tips. There are eight knots made of ribbons to decorate the armor, three knots on the front plate, three on the back and one knot each on the shoulder.
 

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