What? We have a blog? Sorry it's been a while and we're behind...we left everyone hanging in Xi'An...
The terracotta warriors were discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well. The warriors, chariots and horses were buried with the Qin emperor around 210BC and are meant to protect the emperor in the afterlife. The Qin dynasty is said to be the first time all the warring states were united as a single "China," and this is the tomb of the man who did it.
|Scale model showing the potential for a huge army|
It is estimated that in the three "pits" there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Most of the artifacts have yet to be uncovered; the government has halted all new excavation until discovering a way to preserve the bright colors, which were painted on the warriors but disappears quickly after being unearthed now.
In this pit the warriors have all been uncovered and many reassembled, it was the first pit discovered and contains around 6000 warriors. Originally, the warriors were painted with vibrant colors and held weapons. There were also wooden chariots behind many of the horses, but of course the wood did not survive. As you can imagine most everything was in pieces when it was unearthed. All of the pieces go to the "warrior hospital" as our guide called it to be pieced and glued back together. Then they were reset in the current formation.
|A sign marking the location of the well, where pottery fragments were found in 1974|
|Each statue is life-sized and no one is like any other|
|An open pit that has not had the contents extracted and rebuilt|
|A mock-up of the "hospital." Our guide told us all of the actually assembling takes place somewhere else.|
|This is one of the few still showing original color: red at the knee area.|
|Nearly ready to be released|
|You can see the wood ceiling has sagged but not collapsed.|
On to pit three...Here there are nowhere near the number of warriors, but this was thought to be the command post with walls, corridors and offices. The warriors were arranged not in a defensive posture, rather they were lined up as if watching a procession.
|There was only one warrior that has been uncovered totally intact. |
His kneeling position gave an advantage when the wood ceiling collapsed.
|A high ranking officer|
This trip was definitely one of the highlights of our time here in China. If you come to China is it a must see!