Terracotta Warriors of China

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:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The soldiers were built to protect Emperor Huang in his afterlife and the shear number of them in this grave is incredible:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No matter which way you look, the rows of soldiers seem to go on forever:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Check out the detail of these guys:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With still so much to go:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And that is just building one!  There is even less excavated in the next building:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes, the soldiers are taken out first to reconstruct before being put back in their original spot:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That is because the soldiers are often found in pieces:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But it is cool to see that the detail in the armor:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

is what was actually used during that time:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most informative is their museum with examples and descriptions of what has been recovered and reconstructed:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Emperor even had carriages in the tomb!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s