Sunday, 16 November 2014


The Emperor Shi Huangdi was responsible for the construction of the entombed warriors, which were found while workers were excavating for a well.  They notified the Chinese authorities who sent a team of archaeologists to the site where they began the laborious task of unearthing, not one, but thousands of life size soldiers, horses and carts.  Each warrior with different facial expressions and placed according to their rank. Although grey today, remnants of colour are still seen on some of the soldiers.  The terra-cotta army as it was known was part of an elaborate mausoleum which was created to accompany the first emperor into the afterlife.

Over time archaeologists excavating further have revealed swords, arrow tips, and other weapons, many in pristine condition.

The soldiers are all in trench like, underground corridors. In which were found clay horses, aligned four abreast; behind them are wooden chariots. After Shi Huangdi took rule he ordered 700000 workers to commence work on the mausoleum and all the figures. 

Archaeogists estimate there are over 8000 statues in 3 pits, however the 4th pit lies empty due to the fall of the empire, so the entire army was not fully completed.

Exhibitions have been scheduled globally in many countries for everyone to get a glimpse of the enormity and scale of the terra-cotta army.  I was fortunate to see this exhibition in Sydney 2 years ago when it was on display at the Sydney Art Gallery. 

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