The much acclaimed Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are considered to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. At this vast site a great deal has been unearthed providing invaluable historical information regarding China during the Qin Dynasty.
The monarch Qin Shi Huang, later to be the first Emperor of China, ascended to the throne when he was only 13 years of age. He immediately set about designing his mausoleum, which took no less than 11 years to complete. A vast number of buried valuables, sacrificial items and of course the terra cotta army were included with the tomb to serve the emperor in the afterlife.
After the initial discovery in 1974 near the environs of Xian, experts found a number of pits filled with soldiers, cavalry, horses and chariots, all formed of terracotta and life-size, in the excavations. An entire Chinese army with infantrymen, archers, generals and charioteers stood before an amazed world. The total number of figures unearthed stands at about 8,000.
In order to protect and conveniently exhibit this sensational historical showpiece an expansive building was set up over the actual excavation area. Eventually this immense structure, which can accommodate two entire football fields, became the Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum.
The army is arranged in a rectangular array with the soldiers facing an easterly direction. Leading the formation is a contingent of well-armed warriors followed by infantrymen and charioteers.
All of the statues are of realistic size and proportions, bearing testament to the skill of the artisans of the time. What makes the figures even more remarkable is the fact that each of the statues is unique and distinctive. Each of the soldiers has different facial features, showing that each has been individually sculpted and not cast from a mould.
This amazing museum should definitely be on the itinerary of every visitor to the fascinating nation of China as it presents an experience to be found nowhere else.
Travellers who desire accommodation in Xian will find an excellent choice in the Citadines Gaoxin Xi’an. This comfortable Xian apartment offers well-appointed interiors and attentive hospitality.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+