Terracotta Army: Simply Terrific

The warriors and horses of the Terracotta Army are the most important archaeological excavations carried out in the 20th century. Work is still going on in this region. It lies nearly 1.5 km to the east of the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, located at Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi province. It is a must-visit for those who wish to tour China.

Qin Shi Huang ascended the throne at the tender age of 13. He became the first emperor of China. He began the construction work for his own tomb. It was completed in eleven years. It is often rumored that several treasure items and objects of sacrifice served as an accompaniment to the emperor’s after life. A small group of farmers discovered some pieces of pottery as they tried to dig a well near the royal tomb in the year 1974. This discovery caught the eye of many archaeologists.

Archaeologists made a beeline for Xian in order to study the digs. It was ascertained that these artifacts belonged to the Qin Dynasty, which lasted from 211 BC to 206 BC.

The State Council decreed that a museum should be built on the site. When it was completed in 1975, the site drew thousands of visitors from around the world. Xian and the Museum of Qin Terracotta Army have become hallmarks. Every traveler’s itinerary makes a mention of the Terracotta Army.

The Terracotta Army contains life-size figures of warriors and horses. They represent battle formations. The army is the crux of the museum. They represent replicas of the imperial guard in those eras of ceremony and vitality.

The museum is spread over an area of 16,300 square meters. It is divided into three parts: Pit 1, Pit 2, and Pit 3. The pits were numbered based on their discovery. Pit 1 is the largest. It was thrown open to the public in 1979, which is the National Day in China. Columns of soldiers occupy the front rows, while war chariots are situated at the back.

Pit 2 was discovered in 1976. It is situated 20 meters northeast of Pit 1. Pit 2 comprised of more than a thousand warriors and 90 chariots constructed of wood. It was thrown open to the general public in 1994. Archaeologists stumbled on Pit 3 in 1976. Pit 3 lies 25 meters northwest of Pit 1. It resembled a command center for the army. It was comprised of 68 warriors, four horses, and a war chariot.

More than 7,000 soldiers, horses, chariots, and weapons made of pottery have been discovered from the Terracotta Army. Most of these figures have undergone extensive restoration work.

The Terracotta Army is one of the most sensational discoveries in modern history. Because of it, Xian has become a household name. Terracotta Army was awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 1987.

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