Terracotta Army in Xian April 2014

Xian, located in the northwest province of Shaanxi of China, was called Chang’an in the ancient times and is the oldest of the Ancient Capitals of China.  It is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the famous Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty.  The Terracotta Warriors is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, and was buried with the emperor to protect him in the afterlife.

Each warrior is unique with its own dress, face, and hair style.  These figures were discovered in 1974 by local farmers, one of whom sometimes sits at the site to sign autographs.  This terracotta army is part of a much larger necropolis surrounding the first Emperor’s tomb.  The football field sized tomb remains unopened due to concerns of preservation.  According to archaeologists, the lacquer covering the paintwork can curl in 15 seconds once exposed to the air and can flake off in just 4 mins.

DSCF0015Entrance to the pits where the terracotta army stands.

DSCF0018Pit One containing more than 6,000 terracotta figures.

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DSCF0066The terracotta figures are life-sized with different uniforms and hairstyles in accordance with their rank.

DSCF0062The figures were originally painted giving them a realistic feel, however much of the colors have faded or flaked off over time.

DSCF0083Pit Two has cavalry and infantry units representing the military guard.

DSCF0090Notice the detail of even the sole of the shoe of the archer.

DSCF0091The level of detail even in the hairstyle of the archer.

DSCF0095A cavalryman with his mount.

DSCF0100Standing archer probably held an actual bow and arrow which have since been looted or rotted away.

DSCF0104Bronze chariot for the Emperor.

DSCF0212A visit to the Shaanxi History Museum here in Xian with its permanent exhibition of the Terracotta Warriors.

DSCF0197Not only are their dress and hairstyle different, each of them also has a different face.

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