Terracotta Army China–Two peasants from China’s Shaanxi Province made one of the most important archaeological finds of the twentieth century. There were, below their estates, more than 8,000 statues arranged as a battalion to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang (210-209 BC).
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TERRACOTTA ARMY, THE THOUSANDS OF STATUES OF CHINESE SOLDIERS
Ordered on land that compares to the size of a medieval city and carved to a natural scale, the Terracotta Army guarded the emperor’s mausoleum for thousands of years, which historians say has spent part of its life seeking immortality and the “elixir of life”. As a result, he died of a mercury overdose.
Experts believe it is not yet clear how it would be possible to protect this great treasure if the tomb is exposed to oxygen. More than 40 years after its discovery, Qin Shihuang’s grave, which in addition to soldiers also has other statues, remains intact. In addition to the ranks of soldiers, there are 150 life-size horses and 130 520-horse-drawn carriages. Elsewhere in the tomb are also figures of government officials and artists.
It is also believed that the grave may contain traps as a security and that even the enclosure would be surrounded by large trenches of liquid mercury.
- The soldiers (Terracotta Army China)
The soldiers’ statues are made life-size, measuring about 1.7 meters. However, there are some that exceed 2 meters. The latter was the war soldiers. Even containing more than 8,000 statues, none are the same. There are soldiers of all ages, some with calm faces and others whose features clearly say they are ready to fight. The armour is also different. Cavalrymen were totally distinct from foot soldiers. Some soldiers have no armour. They also had royal weapons such as daggers, spears and swords.
- Construction of The Terracotta Army China
To build more than 8,000 statues, archaeologists estimate that there were over 700,000 artisans working on the project. Soldiers’ bodies were apparently made on an assembly line. And it is believed that for ease of production there were moulds for the legs, arms, torso and heads. Ears, moustaches, hair and weapons were added later. The heads were made of moulds, customised and only then attached to the bodies. Different head shapes were used to represent people from different parts of China.
- Curiosities on the Terracotta Army Facts
Army horse statues have saddles. This shows that the object may have been invented at the time of the Qin Dynasty.
There are four main wells that house the army. They measure about 21 meters deep.
Soldiers’ bronze weapons were found in excellent condition because they were coated with a thin layer of chrome.
Most of the statues were broken, and the archaeologists took years to assemble the parts. Terracotta is considered a common type of baked clay. The statues were heated in a highly hot oven to harden the material. According to historian Sima Qian, more than 700,000 people from all corners of the country worked on the works, which took 38 years.
Excavations are prohibited because there is no guarantee that they would not cause serious and irreparable damage to the structure of the building.
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