China Discovery Tour
Xian | China
05 Jan 2020 | Sun
Day 09 of 18
Terracotta Warriors at Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
When in Xian, a visit to see the Terracotta Warriors is a must. The life-size terracotta figures are an incredible sight. A tour of the site is the best way to learn about the history and culture of the area.
The Terracotta Warriors were built to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang united the country in 221 BC. He wanted to be sure that he had an army to protect him in the afterlife, so he ordered the construction of the Terracotta Warriors.
The Warriors are located in three pits near Emperor Qin’s tomb. They were discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well. Now, more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses have been unearthed at the site.
Entrance / Welcome Center
We were told by our guide Rainbow that we were visiting during the perfect time of year as there were no crowds. Apparently, China’s domestic tourism can create overcrowding during peak times of the year, to the point that it takes the fun out of visiting such places.
Terracotta Warriors – Pit 1
Pit 1 of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The life-size sculptures are an amazing sight, and the history behind them is fascinating.
Terracotta Warriors – Pit 2
Compared to Pit 1, the combat formations in Pit 2 are more complex, and the units of armed forces are more complete. It’s thought to represent a military encampment, complete with stables, armor storage, and other military equipment. The figures in this pit are arranged in a more naturalistic way than in Pit 1, giving visitors a sense of what it might have looked like to come across these warriors in ancient times.
The terrain in Pit 2 is also different from that in other pits, with hills and valleys that were meant to represent the real landscape of China.
The discovery of Pit 2 has helped archaeologists to better understand the size and scale of the Terracotta Army. It also provides insight into the military organization of ancient China.
Terracotta Warriors – Pit 3
Of the three pits, pit 3 is the smallest and functions as the headquarters of the army. Here, the warriors are arranged in a face-to-face formation.
Bronze Chariots Horses Exhibition Hall
The life-size terracotta warriors that were buried with China’s first emperor more than 2,000 years ago continue to astound archaeologists. A new discovery has revealed that these impressive sculptures were not the only works of art entombed with Qin Shihuangdi. Also buried with the emperor were at least two life-size bronze chariots, which would have been used for ceremonial purposes.
This latest discovery was made at the site of the emperor’s tomb in Lintong County, Shaanxi Province. Archaeologists uncovered the remains of two chariots, along with four horses, while excavating a pit near the tomb complex. The chariots are believed to be among the finest examples of Chinese bronze craftsmanship from this period.