If you are planning to visit China, you probably would not want to miss the Terracotta Army Museum. It is among the most interesting archeological discoveries of the 20th century. Also known as the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, it is a grand collection of sculptures made of terracotta or clay based ceramic. The figures of warriors, chariots and horses depicts the army of the first king of China; Qin Shi Huang. According to their different roles, the figures vary in their height and appearance. The purpose of terracotta army in China was to save its first king in his afterlife.
Terracotta Army facts It was recently estimated that there are more than 8000 pottery soldiers, 130 chariots and 520 horses uncovered in the mausoleum of the emperor Qin Shi Huang. Here are some facts about the terracotta army:
* It covers an area of 20 hectares which contribute to be the largest museum in China. * The emperor chose the site for making his mausoleum as it met all the standards of Feng Shui * Originally the mausoleum was known as LiShan garden. * There were eight basic moulds which were modified with additional clay to provide various features and expressions. * The height of the terracotta warriors varies according to their rank with an average of 1.8 meter tall and they weigh from around 110 to 300 kg. Thus they are known as life size pottery soldiers. *All parts of the figures were manufactures separately that were finally assembled by craftsmen. * They were finally placed in the pits according to their military ranks. * There are four pits at 1.5 kilometer to the east of burial site. This was to keep the tomb safe from the conquered states of the king; all of them were in the east. * The construction started when the emperor became the king of the state Qin, when he was at the age of thirteen in 246 BC. It took 38 years to complete and involved over 720,000 workers. The tomb was not complete when the emperor died at an age of 49. * It is believed that numerous craftsmen who were involved in making the tomb were buried alive to keep the secrecy of the tomb. * The actual site of the tomb where the emperor is buried is still uncovered. * It is estimated that almost 2 million tourists from round the world visit this place each year.
Terracotta Warriors History and Location Qin Shi Huang became the first king of China in 221 BC, before that he was ruling in the province Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC. He ruled in China until he died at an early age of 49 in 210 BC. On his death, thousands of figures were buried in pits around his tomb. In 1974, a farmer uncovered a part of one of the pits while digging the land. Since then, until 1994 three main pits of the mausoleum were uncovered and were made open of public. The Terracotta army museum was named as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The museum is located at a distant of 30 km east of Xian, also the capital of Shaanxi province. It can easily be reached by bus which routes from Xian Railway Station to Terracotta army museum.