Terracotta Warriors And The Mausoleum Of Emperor Qin Shihuang.
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Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC, reigned 246-210 BC) was the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Upon the death of his father, he ascended the throne at the age of thirteen. His father’s powerful chancellor Lu Buwei served as co-regent until he was 21 years old. He soon forced the former regent into exile and started launching military campaigns to unify the country.
He spent ten years from 230 to 221 BC to wipe out all the six different states one after another and established the first centralized feudal state in the Chinese history. He proclaimed himself Qin Shihuang, first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, and all the important officials of the central and local governments were to be appointed and dismissed by him. During his reign, he worked out a uniform code of law and standardized currency, weight and measures and even the written language.
He also had the different sections of the walls built by various warring states along their frontiers inked up and had the Great Wall built. All These measures were helpful to the consolidation of unification and promoted economic and cultural developments.
The nine local farmers discovered the Terracotta warriors accidentally while sinking a well in 1974. The excavations have continued. The first site was exhumed in 1974. The pit built with earth and timber, measuring 210 meters long, 60 meters wide and 4.6 to 6.5 meters high, larger than a football field, contains more than 6,000 pottery figures. The life-size Warriors were dressed and appeared ready for battle with their spears and various other weapons. Each warrior with a height of 1.8 meters wears an army uniform, which distinguishes the soldier’s rank. Three rows of seventy Warriors each make up the vanguard. They are followed the mainbody of the army, 38 rows of troops. The Terracotta figures of Warriors and horses are simple in style but highly realistic and animated. All these Warriors are well modeled and proportioned. The heads and hands were modeled separately and then attached. Each warrior has different features and facial expression. No two are the same. Uniformly strong and firm in appearance, they vary in individual aspects according to age, experience and social status. Some Warriors have brows knitted and mouths set like veteran fighters with rich experience and wisdom. Others have eyebrows arched and show the fiery boldness and impetuosity of young warriors. They are also those with sternly fixed jaws and determined eyes. Curled moustaches and a cavalier air distinguish the others.
Pit Number Two was discovered in 1976 and excavation began in 1994. This pit contains 1,400 warriors. The second pit differs greatly from the first one, primarily because of its square battle formation. This pit also contains 64 chariots. They are divided into groups, which include infantrymen, cavalrymen and even commanders to guide the troops. This display of soldiers gives insight into the work that went into the ancient Chinese army.
Pit Number Three was found in 1980. Though small, the pit is thought to be the garrison headquarters of the Qin army. It contains only one chariot, six Warriors and a small amount of weapons.
Pit Number Fourth was also found. This room is bare, most likely because the workers did not complete the Warriors before Emperor Qin Shihuang’s death.
These figures have their spectacular forerunners in the extraordinary clay figures found in 1975 in a pit to the east of the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang. This one pit alone---originally, it seems, a huge subterranean shed—contained about six thousand life-sized figures of men and horses, with their chariots, while other similar pits may lie at different points around the tomb. Each figure is individually fashioned. The legs are solid, the hollow body, head and arms being formed of an inner core of coiled strips of clay over which a ‘skin’ of finer clay was smeared, with the features struck on or worked with a tool. The civilian officials and armour-clad soldiers bearing shining bronze swords were painted, and some bear the seals of the craftsman and foreman in charge. Unprecedented in Number and size, they may well have been inspired by earlier straw figures, such as Confucius had recommended as a humane alternative to immolation.
Chinese scientists have finally solved a lengthy riddle of where the 8,000 Terracotta warriors were made that were unearthed in the 1970s from the tomb of Qin Shihuang, first Emperor who unified China. After three-year joint research project, scientists from Beijing, Zhengzhou and Xi’an reached the conclusion that the world-renowned Terracotta warriors were created close to where they were excavated. Qin Shihuang’s tomb has been dubbed “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Nearly 8,000 life-sized Terracotta warriors and horses, along with tens of thousands of weapons, have been recovered from three pits less than a mile from the emperor’s tomb. The purpose of the Warriors and horses was to sustain and protect the spirit of their ruler for all time. In order to find out where the Warriors were made, researchers collected and analysed more than 100 samples from different parts of the Qin tomb, with a neutron activation technique. They then selected 32 elements from each sample for microelement-analysis, a method that has been used worldwide for studying ancient ceramic ware. The method had been proven to be the most efficient, requiring far fewer samples, but with a relatively higher accuracy rate. The research team agreed the world-renowned Terracotta warriors were made with earth taken either from Zaoyuan Village, which lies 9.5 kilometers away from the tomb where China’s first Emperor was buried, or Gaoxing Village, which is only 5.5 kilometers from the tomb. The conclusion tallied with China’s tradition of using earth from the same location as the kiln. The Qin tomb was no exception. Their findings that the kiln sites were around the Qin tomb were accepted by archaeologists from approximately 20 countries and regions at the International Forum on Ancient Ceramics Science and Technology held in Shanghai in early December 2002.
Terracotta Civilian Officials 文职秦俑
After working for more than a year in the period July 2000 to September 2001, Chinese archaeologists discovered another large pit next to the world-renowned Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, from which some Terracotta civilian officials were the first to be unearthed. At the southwest point of the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang, the joint digging team, organized by Shaanxi Probincial Archaeology Institute and the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, worked in the pit for 14 months from July 2000. Archaeologists said that the pit was one of the central departments of the Qin Dynasty, with civil officials buried inside. The total area of the pit is 144 square meters, and , at present, 12 Terracotta civilian officials have been unearthed. These figurines are similar to the Terracotta warriors in the museum but they all wear official caps, which show they were civilian officials. However, from the bones of horses unearthed from the pit, and due to the similarity in clothing worn by the previously unearthed Terracotta treasures, some archaeologists think the 12 pottery figurines are horse trainers. Most experts consider the figurines unearthed from the pit are of civilian officials. They think it was a department of justice in the Qin Dynasty, like the highest judicial organ at that time. It was one of the central departments in the Qin Dynasty.
Survey to Solve the Tomb Mystery
Scientists used remote sensing and geophysical techniques to survey the mysterious Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor, a famous World Heritage site. Located 36 kilometers east of Xi’an, the grand Mausoleum was the eternal resting place for Ying Zheng, the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), who unified China for the first time. According to historical records, it took 700,000 people 36 years to build the luxurious underground tomb, where mercury was used to imitate rivers and lakes, numerous treasures and women were buried with the dead emperor. However, the actual structure and position of the Mausoleum are still a mystery despite several surveys having been conducted since the 1970s. Nowadays, scientists and archaeologists are carrying out a large-scale investigation of the tomb to get a general picture of it. They used aerial remote sensing and geophysical techniques to identify the position, depth and basic structure of the underground palace, as well as the 60-square-kilometer area surrounding the tomb. The survey, listed as a key project of the National High Technology Research and Development Programme, is by far the most comprehensive research ever on the mausoleum. Work was finished by the end of 2003. By that time, people can tell whether or not there were Mercury River and lakes underground and whether the historical records told the truth. So far, only three vaults containing thousands of Terracotta figures (known as bing ma yong) have been found 1.5 kilometers east of the mausoleum, and two sets of large bronze chariots and horses were excavated west of the mausoleum. Discovery of the burial legion has aroused great interest all over the world, making it “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. As opposed to the Egyptian pyramids, which were constructed above the ground level, the Mausoleum is a huge underground complex designed to mirror the street plan of the Qin-dynasty’s capital. It is the first and the largest imperial Mausoleum in China. Tens of thousands of statues and treasures undoubtedly still remain to be unearthed from the site, and they are extremely valuable to study the Qin-dynasty’s society. In December 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization listed the Mausoleum as a World Heritage site, together with the Great Wall, and the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Largest Ruins Park to Be Built
China will build its largest State Ruins Park in Shaanxi Province to better protect the Mausoleum of Qinshihuang, first Emperor of Qin Dynasty, China’s first feudal dynasty. More than 500 million yuan (US $ 60.24 million) of state investment has been fed into the project, which will protect the whole zone of Qin Mausoleum including the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, encompassing some 200 hectares (494.2 acres).
More About Xian
- Huaqing Hot Spring
is situated about 25 kilometers away in the northeast of Xian.
- Terracotta Warriors
And The Mausoleum Of Emperor Qin Shihuang.
- Xian Scenic Spots
Xian Is Full Of Scenic Spots.
- Xian Steles Museum
The , which used to be a holy temple of Confucius, is now a tranquil place in typical Chinese style.