Literally: ‘Qin Tomb Soldier and Horse Burial Figurines'
Why It's Amazing
Part of the world’s largest ancient imperial tomb complex —part of a mostly unexcavated necropolis 6 km (4 mi) square!
One of the top archaeological finds of the 20th century
2,200 years old! — It dates back to the uniting of China under one emperor, who's buried there.
The largest find of its kind (about 1,800 different life-size statues have been uncovered)
Incredible detail: 175–190 cm (5'9–6'3) tall, every one different in gestures and facial expressions, some even with color showing
All have single-edge eyelids! Legend says the First Emperor had single-edge eyelids, so all his Terracotta Army were made with them.
"The Eighth Wonder of the World"
Named: September 1978
By: French President Jacques Chirac
Quote: "There were Seven Wonders in the world, and the discovery of the Terracotta Army, we may say, is the eighth miracle of the world. No one who has not seen the pyramids can claim to have visited Egypt, and now I'd say that no one who has not seen these terracotta figures can claim to have visited China."
A Top China Tourist Sight
Terracotta cavalryman and horse
In the top 10 China sights for international tourists to visit
Visited by over 70 heads of state:Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Wilson Reagan, Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger, Former U.S. Vice President Walter Frederick Mondale, Denmark's Queen Margret II, Former German Chancellors Karl Carstens and Helmut Kohl, Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II,Former Japanese Prime Minister Ohira Masayoshi...
Original purpose: An afterlife army for First Emperor Qin.
Facing east (towards the
ancient enemies of the Qin State, see plan view)
Right flank: infantry and chariots (Vault One) on the right flank
Left forward position: various archers, infantry, cavalry, and chariots (Vault Two)
Rear left position: command post with officers, a chariot, and soldier detachment (Vault Three)
Battle array theory: from The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Archaeological Significance: It reveals much about the Qin Empire’s technology, military, arts, culture, and military.
The Terracotta Army Museum and the Qin Mausoleum are now combined as a single site, called Lishan Garden.
Headless officials of Vault 3
Largest and most impressive (about 230 x 60 m) — airplane-hangar-sized.
The main army: 6,000 terracotta figures (<2,000 displayed)
"Highlight of the vaults" (about 96 x 84 m)
arrays: archers, chariots, mixed forces, and cavalry
Smallest, but very important (21 x 17 m)
The command post — 68 figures: officers, soldiers, and a chariot.
Bronze Carriage Exhibition Hall
The world's largest and most intricate ancient bronze artifacts
2 carriages: 3,400 parts and 1,234 kg each!
Sumptuous gold and silver ornamentation: 1,720 pieces, weighing 7 kg per carriage
Museum of the Terracotta Acrobats; Museum of Terracotta Civil Officials; Museum of Stone Armor
First Emperor Qin's Tomb
Huge burial mound — 400m square (32 football pitches), originally 100m (328 ft) high, now 47m (154 ft)
Treasures: Unexcavated, it may contain vast wealth. Historian Sima Qian (135–86 BC) wrote it contained 'a world with mountains made of gold, stars represented by pearls, jewels, and flowing rivers of mercury'.
Location: two kilometers west of the Terracotta Army