The Terracotta Warriors refer to an array of terracotta figures which depict the mighty armies of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. A unique kind of funerary art, these sculptures were buried along with the monarch so as to safeguard the emperor in the afterlife, and to ensure that he would always have loyal subjects to obey and support him. These fascinating sculptures were first discovered by farmers in 1974, in Shaanxi Province’s Lintong District, Xi’an. This amazing discovery is considered to be the most important archaeological excavation in China in the 20th century.
The lifelike figures consist of warriors, horses and chariots. It is estimated that the vast Terracotta Army comprised of in excess of 8,000 individual soldiers, 150 lifelike cavalry horses as well as 130 chariots accompanied by 520 horses. The greater part of this vast military assembly remains buried in the pits adjoining the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang. Interestingly, the heights of the statues correspond to their role and status, with the tallest figures being the generals. Others sculptures discovered in the pits include acrobats, officials, musicians and strongmen. Each of the figures is unique, with different facial features and expressions.
After ascending to the throne at the young age of 13, Qin Shi Huang decreed the commencement of work on his mausoleum. The vast undertaking involved the participation of thousands of artisans and workers, taking 11 years to complete.
After the excavation of this sensational archaeological discovery, a museum was created to display the terracotta figures. The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses has since then become a popular attraction drawing many visitors from China and abroad. The museum’s famous exhibits have been refurbished to their original grandeur.
A diverse array of authentic weapons like spears, swords, scimitars, battle-axes, crossbows, arrowheads and shields have been found alongside the sculptures at the site. Many of these weapons are in their original condition, with some of the swords remaining very sharp. This is attributed to the layer of chromium oxide with which the weapons have been coated.
Selective visitors considering hotels in China will be pleased by the properties of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. These fine Greater China hotels offer excellent accommodations and courteous hospitality.