China | Xian

Terracotta Warriors at Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum

China Discovery Tour

Xian | China

05 Jan 2020 | Sun

Day 09 of 18

  • Xian Daqin Terra Cotta Lacquer Furniture Art Factory
  • Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum Xian
  • Terracotta Warriors – Pit 1
  • Terracotta Warriors – Pit 2
  • Terracotta Warriors – Pit 3
  • Bronze Chariots Horses Exhibition Hall
  • Lunch | Huaqing Aegean International Hot Springs Resort Xian
  • Shaanxi History Museum Xian

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.

Terracotta Warriors

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.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. The figures vary in height according to their roles, the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.

– Wikipedia Terracotta Army

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.

Pit 1 of the Terracotta Warriors

Pit 1, which is 230 metres (750 ft) long and 62 metres (203 ft) wide, contains the main army of more than 6,000 figures. Pit 1 has eleven corridors, most more than 3 metres (10 ft) wide and paved with small bricks with a wooden ceiling supported by large beams and posts. This design was also used for the tombs of nobles and would have resembled palace hallways when built. The wooden ceilings were covered with reed mats and layers of clay for waterproofing, and then mounded with more soil raising them about 2 to 3 metres (6 ft 7 in to 9 ft 10 in) above the surrounding ground level when completed.

– Wikipedia Terracotta Army

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.

Warrior with Horse

Pit 2 has cavalry and infantry units as well as war chariots and is thought to represent a military guard.

– Wikipedia Terracotta Army

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.

Pit 3 is the command post, with high-ranking officers and a war chariot.

– Wikipedia Terracotta Army

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.

Bronze Chariots and Horses

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.

The Qin Bronze Chariot refers to a set of two Qin dynasty bronze model chariots that were unearthed in 1980 at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Qin Shi Huang (reigned 247–220 BCE). When the models were found they were in many broken pieces, and it took five years to restore them both. Both models are about half life-size.

The first piece, “bronze chariot number one”, consists of an open chariot drawn by four bronze horses, with a single standing driver and a bronze umbrella on a stand placed next to him.

The second piece, “bronze chariot number two”, is a closed carriage with two seats and an umbrella-like roof, which is also drawn by four bronze horses.

Bronze chariot number two
The chariots are stored at the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang in Shaanxi. In 2010 the piece was showcased at the Shanghai Expo as an exhibit inside the China Pavilion building.

The chariots are one of sixty-four designated historical artifacts that are prohibited from being exhibited outside China.

– Wikipedia Qin Bronze Chariot

Exit & Shopping Area

Leave a Comment