The main attraction to visit while in the city of Xi’an, China, is the grave of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang and his famed terracotta warriors. It is now a Unesco® heritage site spanning over several buildings to house these statues and all the archaeologic efforts to preserve them:
The soldiers were built to protect Emperor Huang in his afterlife and the shear number of them in this grave is incredible:
No matter which way you look, the rows of soldiers seem to go on forever:
The divisions between the row of solders are not intentional but a result of the burial. It has been a slow process to carefully separate each soldier:
Check out the detail of these guys:
With still so much to go:
And that is just building one! There is even less excavated in the next building:
Sometimes, the soldiers are taken out first to reconstruct before being put back in their original spot:
That is because the soldiers are often found in pieces:
But it is cool to see that the detail in the armor:
is what was actually used during that time:
Most informative is their museum with examples and descriptions of what has been recovered and reconstructed:
The Emperor even had carriages in the tomb!
The detail in what was found here is truly remarkable but it is also makesme sick to realize how much slave labor there must have been to accomplish this. I hope that when people come to visit this site, they are impressed not by the concept of a crazy Emperor and his need to hold on to all these material goods in the afterlife, but the artistry of all the slaves who had dedicated their lives to this.