The Enigmatic Terracotta Army: A Marvel of Ancient China

Terracotta Army: interesting facts and history

The Terracotta Army, an archaeological wonder unveiling the mysteries of ancient China, stands as a remarkable witness to the imperial grandeur and philosophy of the first Chinese emperor. Discovered in 1974, this immortal army of terracotta warriors, horses, and chariots, intended to protect the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in the afterlife, has become a symbol of the greatness, artistry, and technological prowess of ancient China.

The History of the Terracotta Army

The origins of the Terracotta Army are intertwined with the captivating persona of the First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, who ruled in the 3rd century BCE. Seeking to secure immortality not only in his earthly reign but also in the afterlife, he issued a decree to create thousands of clay warriors, horses, chariots, and other figures to guard him in the underworld after his death.

According to historical accounts, artisans and craftsmen labored for many years to create these figures. Each terracotta warrior was uniquely crafted, with individual facial features, armor, weapons, and a high degree of artistry. Through this vast army, the first Emperor of China intended to enter the afterlife with a magnificent military escort, ensuring the continuation of his rule beyond physical death.

An interesting fact is that Emperor Qin Shi Huang also made a colossal contribution to the construction of the Great Wall of China, as his 300,000-strong army participated in its building.

What is the Terracotta Army Made Of?

The Terracotta Army is made of terracotta, hence its name. Terracotta is a type of fire-hardened clay used for making various sculptures, tiles, pottery, and other objects. This material has a long history in art and crafts and has a high melting temperature, allowing it to withstand high temperatures during firing.

The term “terracotta” comes from the Italian words “terra cotta,” which translate to “baked earth.”

Composition and Layout of the Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army, with its impressive scale and artistry, consists of unique terracotta warriors, horses, chariots, and other figures embodying the greatness of the imperial China of the 3rd century BCE.

This archaeological site is located in the necropolis of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang, near the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. The necropolis is a vast underground structure that includes not only the Terracotta Army but also exquisite statues, bronze ritual vessels, ornaments, and other objects.

Each terracotta warrior, horse, and chariot is life-sized. The height of the warriors ranges from 175 cm to 200 cm, and each has its unique face.

Thousands of terracotta warriors are placed in three separate underground palace halls, each representing a unique military ensemble. They are arranged to replicate strategic formations, indicating the significant military and technical expertise of the time.

Interesting Facts about the Terracotta Army

  1. The Terracotta Army consists of approximately 8,000 figures, including warriors (infantry, archers, officers, and rank-and-file soldiers), horses, and chariots.
  2. The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 during the drilling of a well by ordinary residents and became one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.
  3. The necropolis where the Terracotta Army is located was built based on the imperial palace. Besides the Terracotta Army, it housed a model of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s possessions, including even rivers filled with mercury.
  4. The dimensions of the terracotta warriors are life-sized, ranging from 175 cm to 200 cm. The weight of one warrior varies within 135 kg, and the weight of horses is within 250 kg.
  5. In addition to thousands of soldiers, horses, and chariots, there are over 40,000 real weapons.
  6. Today, the Terracotta Army is a vast museum complex that has been open since 1979, attracting millions of tourists every year.
  7. The construction of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb began around 246 BCE, shortly after his ascension to the throne at the age of 13. Approximately 700,000 workers participated in the construction of the emperor’s tomb.
  8. According to archaeological research, the construction of the Terracotta Army lasted approximately 38 years.
  9. All terracotta warriors and horses are facing east, symbolizing hope and a bright future.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Ezine Articles | Article Directory | Submit Articles | Article Marketing
Register New Account