Why The Terracotta Warriors Have Single-edge Eyelid

As is known to everyone, Qin Shihuang Mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, the founder of the first feudal dynasty in Chinese history.

Terracotta Warriors pits is the accompanying pits of the mausoleum. The scale of these accompanying pits is acknowledged as the number 1 in Chinese history. At present there are 8000+ terracotta figures excavated, but experts believe there are still may more buried underground.  As the 8th world wonder, Terracotta Warriors attracts millions of tourists each year with . And Terracotta Warriors is the top reason for most of international tourists’ Xian tour.

Although each terracotta figure’s face is different from other’s, most of Terracotta figures wear the stern faces. If you have done the Terracotta Warriors tour before, have you noticed there is a common physiological feature shared by all the terracotta figures? They all have single-edge eyelid. What’s the reason?

There are quiet many explanations about that. In this blog we’d like to share three most popular explanations.

The soldiers are High-blooded Han People

Some scholars think Terracotta figures have wide face, oblate nose, and single-edge eyelid. That is the typical appearance of pure Han People.

They also raised that a pair of neither too big nor too small eyes is one of the most distinctive features of Han people. The narrow and single-edge eyelid eyes is the representative feature of Tungus people. And the deep-set eyes and double-edge eyelid is the feature of Baiyue People. Qin People is the typical Han people.

According to these scholars, after the Han Dynasty, with the development of national reunification, Han People married with people of other lineage. So there are less people wear typical pure Han people facial features.

Oxidation of Paint

Scholars holding this idea because Terracotta figures were created based on the real persons. The real persons have either double-edge eyelids or single-edge eyelids, so the Terracotta figures also have either double-edge eyelids or single-edge eyelids. Buy the double-edge eyelids were painted instead of carved ones. After the terracotta figures being taken out of the earth, the paint got oxidized soon. With the disappearing of the paint, the figures lost their double-edge eyelid.

The craftsmen in Qin Dynasty Slacked It

That is the least forcible idea of the three explanation. Each terracotta figures has so many details. All the other details of their body were finished perfectly. How could all the craftsmen forgot the same detail when making the figures. And the inspection and acceptance of these mortuary object were extremely strict. The craftsmen would never risk their life by submitting an defective figure.

What’s your idea about this question? Actually about Terracotta figures there are many interesting questions: Why all the soldiers have a bob on right top of their head? Why quiet some soldiers wears no protections like helmet armor? Why the terracotta figures wear mustache instead of beard? … If you also are curious about that, please remember asking your guide when you visiting there.