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The Terracotta Army


The Terracotta Warriors and Horses were discovered in 1974.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses were discovered in 1974 by several local farmers digging a well. The Terracotta Army is only a short distance away from the Qinshihuang Mausoleum (the mausoleum of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang) near Xi'an in the Shaanxi province. The army was buried with the Emperor of Qin and was there to defend the tomb. The tomb itself, occupying some 400 square meters and 76 meters tall, remains unopened, in the hope that it will remain intact. According to the historian Sima Qian (145 BC - 90 BC) construction of the mausoleum began in 246 BC and involved 700,000 workers.
The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BC, vary in height (183-195 cm - 6ft-6ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the Generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. Current estimates are, that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army, there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits. In all there are 4 pits, but pit 4 is seemingly left unfinished by its builders.

The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The colored lacquer finish, individual facial features, and replica weapons and armor used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance. Upon completion, the terrecotta figures were placed in the pits in precise military formation according to rank and duty. The original weapons were stolen shortly after the creation of the army and the coloring has faded greatly. However, their existence serves as a testament to the amount of labor and skill involved in their construction. It also reveals the power the First Emperor possessed, enabling him to command such a monumental undertaking.

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