The Terracotta Army is one of the most remarkable archaeological finds of the 20th century. Discovered in 1974, this collection of terracotta sculptures depicts the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is considered a form of funerary art that was intended to protect Emperor Qin in his afterlife.
The Terracotta Army was discovered by a group of farmers who were digging a well in 1974, during the time of China’s first emperor. The army consists of over 8,000 life-sized figures that were made from terracotta clay and hand-painted with exquisite details such as facial expressions, weapons, and clothing. Each sculpture has its own unique features, making it an impressive archaeological discovery.
The team of potters who made the Terracotta Army included imperial craftsmen and folk craftsmen. The Terracotta Army truly captures the grandeur and power of ancient Chinese imperial culture and provides insight into how people lived during this period in history.
Here are 10 amazing facts about the terracotta army:
How Was It Discovered?
The discovery of the terracotta army is one of the most iconic archaeological discoveries of all time. The underground army was discovered in 1974 in ancient China. Revered for their intricate detail and craftsmanship, it wasn’t until a few farmers near Xi’an, China, accidentally unearthed a warrior that these massive clay statues were brought to light.
Archaeologists soon uncovered an entire collection of buried figures, consisting of over 8,000 army units. These life-size figures that had been created over 2200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty from 221–206 BC.
Why The Terracotta Figures Were Constructed?
The warriors were constructed to protect the tomb of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, and his afterlife journey. Each soldier has its own individual facial features and clothing, which makes them unique and distinct from each other. The sculptures are also arranged into different formations, such as infantrymen, archers, and cavalry men carrying shields, swords, and spears—all ready for battle.
A Remarkable Archaeological Discovery
It is surely a remarkable archaeological discovery. While tilling the fields for their crops, local farmers came across pieces of a clay figure that led them to a mysterious and ancient tomb. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the tomb was vast in size, spanning over two acres.
Within the tomb were countless artifacts of great historical value. These included pottery, weapons, some bronze weapons, and jewelry from many different eras—evidence of multiple civilizations that had inhabited the area thousands of years ago. Archaeologists are now on-site to further investigate this amazing find and uncover its secrets.
Archaeologists later found that these pieces belonged to the terracotta army, which was located about 1,500 meters east of the mausoleum and belonged to its outer ranges. Since then, excavations have unearthed more than 2,200 soldiers and horses, as well as chariots, weapons, and other artifacts from within this burial complex.
Are There Bodies Inside The Terracotta Warriors?
The pits of terracotta warrior figures (four pits in total) have long been a source of fascination and mystery. Located in Xi’an, China, the sculptures have been dated back to 210–209 BC and are believed to have been created in honor of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The question that has long captivated archaeologists is whether or not there are bodies inside the terracotta warriors.
The clay soldiers remained untouched for more than 2000 years, until 1974. Experts estimate there are more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses.
Recent archaeological studies have revealed that no human remains have been found within any of the statues. Instead, archeologists believe that each figure is made from clay mixed with other materials such as sand, glue, and even animal hair for added strength and durability. The figures were then cast with molds rather than sculpted by hand; this is evidenced by the identical shapes on many of them.
UNESCO-Designated World Heritage Site
Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site as it is famous for its Terracotta Army of thousands of lifelike clay soldiers.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site captures a remarkable moment in human history and provides invaluable insight into China’s imperial period. It showcases not just the incredible craftsmanship and skill of ancient historians but also serves as a reminder to humanity that no matter how powerful or influential we may seem today, our legacy will fade away with time.
Eighth Wonder Of The World
The Terracotta Warriors are perhaps the most iconic archaeological discovery of modern times. These life-sized sculptures have come to represent an important part of Chinese history and culture. It’s no wonder that they’ve been commonly praised as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
Commissioned by Emperor Qin Shi Huang as part of his mausoleum complex for his death in 210 BCE, it is estimated that nearly 8,000 terracotta warriors were created by master artisans using clay and fired in kilns at high temperatures. Each warrior has its own unique facial features and hairstyle and is dressed in varying degrees of armor depending on their rank within the ranks of ancient Chinese military forces. They are all different in their expressions. There are also many cavalry horses placed among the warrior figurines.
Appearance Of Terracotta Soldier
These sculptures vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle, typically ranging from 175 cm (5.74 ft) to 200 cm (6.6 ft). The figures have been hailed as one of the most remarkable archaeological finds of all time, with over 8,000 individual pieces having been excavated from the tomb site since 1974.
These statues are thought to be representing a variety of different roles from within the imperial court, including military officers, high-ranking officials, entertainers, and acrobats. They provide an incredibly detailed insight into life during Qin Shi Huang’s reign, which would otherwise be impossible for historians to uncover. The intricate details on each figure, such as facial features and clothing decorations, show the skill and commitment put into creating these works of art centuries ago.
The Figures Are Of Some General Types
- armored infantry
- unarmored infantry
- standing archers
- crossbow men or archers
- spear carrying charioteers
First Exhibition Of The Figures
The first time these figures appeared outside of China was at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne in 1982. This ground-breaking event saw a collection of 120 objects, including life-sized terracotta warriors, chariots, and horses, flow through the halls of the gallery and into Australia’s cultural consciousness.
It also marked an important step forward in bridging the gap between east and west, promoting mutual understanding and appreciation through art.
In this article, we have described 10 interesting terracotta army facts. It is one of the most iconic archaeological finds in history, constructed to protect the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in his afterlife.
In conclusion, the Terracotta Army is one of the most impressive archaeological finds in history. This remarkable feat of engineering and artistry has enchanted people for centuries, and continues to inspire awe and admiration today. From their discovery to the complex symbolism behind their construction, these life-sized soldiers represent a unique part of Chinese culture and its long-standing tradition of craftsmanship.
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