Up to now, there has discovered a total of 179 accompanying burial pits of different connotations and various shapes in Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum area. The discovery of these pits has provided all important significance in the research of the burial system of the Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum, the characteristics structures and characteristics of the burial pits. However. what makes people feel amazing is that of all the burial pits, none has been found survived from being burnt down. But this burial pit for the civil officials is the only exceptional. Therefore, it serves a denial to the supposition that the accompanying burial pits were brought down due to spontaneous combustion of natural gas or a kind of burial rites of the time but rather a further testimony to the historical records, saying “ Xing Yu burnt down the Qin Palaces, dug the royal tomb of the First Emperor of Qin and took over his private wealth” or in other words, “setting fires on the palaces and tomb buildings never seen before.”
The three pits for the Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses are laid out in a way looking like a Chinese character 品 (Pin), i.e. with one pit in front of the other two, the total coverage being over 20, 000 square meters. Buried in the pits are nearly 8.000 pieces of terra-cotta warriors and horses, all being tile size of a real than and horse, and more than hundred war chariots of wooden structure (which have all gone decayed). The terra colts are all big and tall in size, strong and robust, vigorous with head and ears with high alert when standing steadfastly on ground looking as if ready to gallop in the battle-field. The cavalrymen and soldiers are all tall and robust. Some of them are clad in war robes and others in armor with weapons in hand, and still some are holding dagger-axes and spears while others long-shaft axes and halberds, standing vigorous and powerful in battle-array. This is a troop consisting of soldiers, cavalrymen, cross- bow shooters and war-chariots, forming a strong and invincible army, always ready in battle-formation.
How were the Terracotta Warriors and Horses found?
In March, 1974 it was casually found by a farmer of the Xiyang Village of Yanzhai Township, Lintong County when he was sinking a well in the south of the village. This is how the No. I Pit was discovered. Later in 1976, No. 2 and 3 Pits of the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses were again discovered one after another and underwent trial excavation. To protect and preserve well these rarities of great historical value a museum with a floor space of 16,000 square meters was built on the very site of the No. 1 Pit as approved by the State Council in 1975. The Museum was brought to a completion in 1979 and opened to visitors.
The story goes back to May 1976 when Singaporean Prime Minister Lee said excitedly: “it’s the wonder of the world, a glory of the nation!” Later in April 1978 an American lady wrote an article in the National Geographic, introducing to the world the “wondrous terra-cotta warriors and Horses” that roused the attention of many people of the world. Still later in September 1978 the former French Prime Minister Chirac also paid a visit there. He said, “there used to be seven wonders in the world. But today when I see the Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses I must say it is the Eighth Wonder of the world, and should be ranked the best of them.” If you want to pay a visit the pyramid you cannot be deemed as having been to Egypt” and “If you do not see the Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses you can’t be considered as having paid a visit praises roused responses from among many people. In September 1980, Wang Zhaolin, a journalist of the Xinhua News Agency published an article entitled “A Visit to the Eighth Wonder of the World, See the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses.” This is the first time that the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses are openly and publicly crowned with the laurel of the Eighth Wonder of the World.
The appearance and development of the terra-cotta figures varied along with the change and development of the burial rites in ancient times. In slave society under the rule of Yin and Zhou dynasty the since-owners will wished to live a luxurious life in the netherworld as enjoyed in their lifetime and so they buried quiet a lot living slaves for the dead slave-owners. However, towards the Spring and Autumn Period to bury the living for the dead was gradually replaced by burying the terra-cotta figures and still later in the middle and late Warring States Period burying terra-cotta figures for the dead instead of burying the living gradually came to be rife.
Where is Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum?
The Terra-Cotta Warriors is the eighth world wonder in Xian city. Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass onto future generations. Our cultural and natural heritages are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. A World Heritage site differs from a site of national heritage and the key is in the words “outstanding universal value”. One of the sites included in the World Heritage list is The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Description:
Terra-Cotta Warriors, located in Lintong County, 35 kilometers east of Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, is regarded as “the eighth wonder of the world” and has been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO since December 1987. It draws millions of visitors from home and abroad every year. This is believed to be the first imperial mausoleum in China. According to historical records, Qinshihuang mobilized 700,000 workers to build the mausoleum in 38 years
In ancient China, climbing on top of the mausoleum was regarded as a kind of discourtesy because an ancestor was buried underground. Today, a platform has been built on the mausoleum to provide a place for visitors.
When standing on the roof of the 70-meter-high mausoleum and looking down on the panorama of the mausoleum, which covers an area of 50 square kilometers, one may experience a feeling of awe.
Nearly 8,000 life-sized terracotta warriors and horses, along with tens of thousands of pieces of weaponry, have been uncovered from three pits, where the Army of Terracotta Warriors has slept for almost 2,200 years.
The purpose of the warriors and horses, located less than a mile from the emperor’s tomb, was to maintain and protect, throughout eternity, the spirit of Qin Shihuang, the first man to unite China.
A group of farmers accidentally discovered the mausoleum in March 1974 when they were digging a well in the region. The Museum of Terracotta Warriors at Qinshihuang Mausoleum has received 50 million Chinese and overseas visitors since the first three pits containing 8,000 terracotta warriors opened to visitors in 1979.
Terracotta Warriors and Horses
The Three Pits of the Qin Terracotta Warriors
There is no record in history as to when the project was started. But the ruins and cultural relics we’ve found through archeological excavation have provided us relatively fellable evidences. First we’ve discovered from the pits some bronze weapons beating tile lime of making, the latest of which reads “figures done in the 19th years of Emperor Qinshihuang’s role”. From this we come to know that the latest time for putting the figures into tomb cavity couldn’t be earlier than 228 B.C., the 19th year under Emperor Qinshihuang’s rule. Secondly, we’ve discovered from the brick pieces for paving the ground in the pits some such imprints as “Dusikong” and “Gongshui”. This shows that they were made in these workshops, which so far as we know were set up after the unification of China by the State of Qin. And judging from this we can come to a conclusion that the construction of the Qin Terracotta Warriors Pits was stated after the unification of China in 221 B.C.
As regards when the project was stopped this is quite clear. Because peasant uprising was started in 209 B.C. And the imperial edict was issued by the 2nd emperor of Qin, saying, “exempted conscripts for Lishan project and sons of slaves be made to fight against the Chu Army”. And on the other hand, the excavation site tells us that the original project was to have at least four pits built so as to form a group.
And at that lime the three pits were already completed yet in between No.2 and 3 Pits there left an unfinished pit, which though formed into pit-ground and wooden frameworks over it. Obviously the project was forced to a stop in a rush. So the construction of the Qin terra-cotta pits was started from the 221 B.C. and to he ended at 209 B. C., lasting roughly a period of ten years. In ancient time no matter whether the field operation, attack on a city or chase after the enemy the army had to keep a certain formation and this formation is called the array of an army.
The battle formation of an army in ancient time generally was in rectangular and it’s at the left array in a fight. What we discover in the No. 3 Pit is the soldiers standing in a formation of grads who are supposed to be the headquarters. However, at the north side of No. 1 Pit and in between No. 2 and 3 Pits there is an uncompleted No. 4 Pit, in which there are neither earthen partitions, wooden frameworks nor any terra-cotta figures. This is supposed to be the central army formation according to the original plan. It was in this way that the three parts of an army the left, central and right plus a commanding office formed a complete array of an army in its battle formation. The No. 2 Terra-cotta Array Pit is in the shape of a square rule and the array of the army consists of four small-sized divisions. The first division is the one of crossbow soldiers disposed at the front, forming an outpost of the army. The second division is the one of chariots disposed on the right. The third is a column formation, a mixture consisting of chariots, infantries and cavalries disposed in the middle of the array. And the fourth division is the cavalry being located on the left of the array. We’ve found about 6,000 pieces of the Qin Terracotta Army figures in the No.1 Pit. It is a mixed formation of chariots and infantries, forming into a rectangular battle-array facing and backing on the west. It has its vanguard units, rear guards, bulk of an array and side-guards. The vanguard units are formed of three horizontal lines of soldiers facing east with each line having 68 warrior figures and 204 in total. And behind the vanguards there are 30 war-chariots mixture of 38 lines of chariot-soldiers and infantries stretching 184 meters long they form the hulk of an army. On the north and south sides of the hulk army there are two longitudinal lines of soldiers and they line of soldier plays the role of the rear guards. The vanguard soldier decked out smartly are the warriors good at shooting. The mixture of chariots and infantries forming the bulk of an army is a very strict battle formation at that time.
Why is the No.3 Pit regarded as the headquarters of the army? This is because:
1. the terra-cotta warriors in the No.3 Pit are arrayed around the pit, standing opposite one another and this is a formation of soldiers standing on guard.
2. the weapons used in No. 3 Pit are mainly kinds of bronze-headed spears that are used by soldiers on guard in that time. This shows that the warriors in No.3 Pit are the soldiers standing on guard.
3 the four-horse-pulled chariot excavated from the No. 3 Pit is a canopied one that is varnished and colorfully painted, and the users all have high-caps on. In appearance they are superiors on a finely decorated chariot and surely it is a chariot for commanders.
4. there is a meeting hall and also a hall of prayer for victory of wars in No.3 Pit.
5. the No. 3 Pit is located on the back left of the No. 1 Pit and the back of No. 2 Pit, suggesting tile importance of its position in the army.
5. the No. 3 Pit is located on the back left of the No. 1 Pit and the back of No. 2 Pit, suggesting tile importance of its position in the army.
Though the figures excavated from the Qin Terra-cotta Warriors Pits are something false yet the weapons they had in hand are the real. The weapons include the following three kinds: the long-range weapons, the long-shaft and the short-handled weapons. The long-range weapons consist of bows, crossbows, arrows and arrowheads. The long-shaft weapons include spears, dagger-axes, halberds, battle-axes, edged-bamboo weapons and large-spears. The short-handled weapons have bronze-swords and hooked weapons. A kind of sword we’ve discovered has been buried underground for over 2,000 years but still rely shin). This sword has been treated with chromium, which is still very shiny. This sword has treated with chromium, which is anti-erosive and anti-rustic. This technique was mastered in Europe and America only in modern times.
The Bronze Chariots and Horses
In June 1978 the Archeological Team for the excavation of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses discovered from a spot some 20 first emperor Qin’s tomb and 7.8 meters underground two large-sized bronze chariots. Approved to be excavated by the National Administration of Cultural Relics in June 1980, the digging started in November the same year and the two chariots were brought to light in December. At the time of being brought out the two chariots were already crushed to pieces, the former chariot (which was later called No. 1 chariot) being shattered to some 3,000 pieces while the latter (later called No. 2 chariot) some 1, 555 pieces. If they were not restored, you’ll be unable to tell the original shape of them at all.
The restoration of the bronze chariots was started in 1982. As No. 2 chariot was not seriously broken like No. 1, it was decided to restore No. 2 chariot first. The restoration team consisted of more than 10 persons from the Archeological Team for the Excavation of Qin Terracotta Qin Terracotta Museum. Through 15 months of hard work No. 2 bronze chariot was restored to its original shape and was put on display on 1st Oct, 1983.
And as No. 1 bronze chariot is severely damaged it is difficult to re-shape. It underwent a whole 5 years to finish and the chariot was opened to the public on display on the first of May 1988. To apply colors onto the whole piece of bronze ware and get it painted is a great invention of the first Qin emperor’s times. The horse is all white while the chariot has a white bottom yet colorfully painted with dragons of variegated forms, curling clouds and other geometric patterns. It is in motley colors and the paintings on it are really done in a meticulous way, which embodies to a large extent the reality of a clad wooden chariot. From this we come to know how pompously decorated
Note: The dragon is painted in tender green, phoenix in azure blue clouds, and on top of the clouds is dotted with chained beads in vermilion. Besides, the wheels, notches and spokes are also varnished in red.
Decorated with a lot of silver and gold pieces the two bronze chariots and horses used the silver bolts as wheel-fixer, silver-plated awning, gold wine-jar stands and gold-and-silver bridles, horse-reins and neckbands as well. Each chariot uses a little more than 7. 5 kilograms of gold and silver. For No. 2 chariot alone the decorative articles made of gold add up to 737 pieces and those of silver 983 pieces. The two chariots are really splendid and full of grandeur.
Why the Terracotta Army was Made?
The ancient people in China thought that death was another form of living, holding a view that the soul was inextinguishable when a person passed away, supposing that he will live on in another world as did in this world. Thus when a person died people would make by imitation an environment to suggest what used to be when the dead was still alive, keeping him company with figures or some other articles for use. Therefore, to bury the dead in a pompous way was in great vogue among the royal families and lords, being treated with a great number among of burying articles and figures or even burying the living for the dead in order to keep them company in the nether world.
In China’s olden days the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses of a very large scale stand out an extraordinary color in the custom of burying the living for the dead. The creation has opened up a new style and form in breaking through the hoary system of the old burial rites. Thus it helps hasten the development of using the terracotta or wooden figure and horses to take the place of real persons and horse, i.e. to quicken the dying-out of the old custom and also helps the progress of a civilized burial system. It is certainly of great significance in the development of burial rites in China’s ancient times.
The burial customs and rites are something that belongs to the category of sociology, being a component part of ancient culture. So it is beyond doubt that the formation system of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses is not only a component part of the Qin burial system, but an aspect of the Qin culture as well. Therefore, to tap the cause of this system is of significance not only to the study of the Qin culture, but also to the coming-into-being and development of the Qin burial customs and rites.
Terracotta Warriors and Horses
How the Terracotta Warriors were Made?
The material selected for the making of the terra-cotta warriors and horses is the yellow soil and white quartzite gravel taken from the north foothills of the Lishan Mountain. After sieving and washing, getting rid of something impure they will be ground into fine granules. And then after mixing up with suitable, amount of water and yellow earth they are churned and pounded late, a mould-clay of neither soft nor hard. With molding as main means in the making of terra-cotta warriors and horses the pottery-makers and sculptors combine molding and sculpting together, making them pall by part, and then fix them up into a whole piece. Afterwards they arc put into kiln to be fired and colorfully painted when taken out of the kiln. The large-sized pottery figures and horses are turned out largely in this way. With regard to the minute parts of the terra-cotta figures, methods of suchlike as sculpting, molding, kneading, piling, patching and carving as well as painting are used in turning them out and therefore they bear different features.
To make the terracotta figures morn stable for better safekeeping, the shaping of all these terracotta figures follows such a rule that the lower part of the figure is made solid and heavier while the upper part hollowed and lighter. For instance, the feet and legs of terracotta figures are made solid yet the bellies and arms hollowed and the terracotta horses are made in the same way. Particularly, every figure is made standing on a square board so as to widen its space of contact with the ground, thereby making the center of gravity more stable.
For the frist Emperor of the Qin Dynasty to build a terracotta army-array on such a large scale the gist of this doing so is very clear. It is obviously to show that he is such an Emperor who ever ruled over a large country with a big population and his great achievements would benefit the country for a long, long time. Judging from the already restored terracotta figures some of them are standing proudly, brave and fortitudinous. Others look happy and elated yet powerful and mighty. Still others are quite alert and shrewd, quiet yet elegant poking self-possessed stances, showing that army-men regard taking the order as their bounden-duty. It is an artistic depiction and representation of the vigorous and powerful Qin army and a full embodiment of the thematic concept: “Emperor of the Qin unified the country by wiping out the other six states, what a great and mighty achievement he ever made!”
The Replicas of the Terracotta Warriors
The chariots, horses and driving figures are all cast of bronze and then further processed through filing, chiseling and punching as to its minute parts, thus bringing to finish the set of bronze horses and chariots. Considering of over 3,000 parts, big and small, the assembling way includes two types, one that can be dismantled and the other that can’t be disassembled.
The ways for joining up the parts that can be dismantled used the methods of forging, welding, inlaying, hot treatment and sticking, and the skills for linking up are very much higher. Such ways as buttoning, coupling, crunching, and the more modernized way of hinging and belt fastening are adopted. Some of the skills seem to be very difficult even if under the present conditions. Take the indented teeth on the interior ring of the chariot wheel for instate its surface is very glossy with a very high smooth finish, and it seems that it has used the polishing technology.
The awning of the No. 2 bronze chariot has a di- centimeter and the thickest part not more than 0. 4 centimeter. To cast once and for all such a large-sized awning is very difficult to achieve even with the technological skill of nowadays. Along with the excavation and exhibition of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses the replica figures and horses displayed in the Museum of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Hores have not only aroused great interests among more and more visitors from both at home and abroad but also some units or enterprises and even some well-known public places, which have business with alien lands, as means or office decorations to help raise their reputations and business grades. To cater to the needs of visitors from at home and abroad to Xian, the masters of the archeological and fine arts departments, by pooling in conceded efforts, have reproduced a number of terracotta warriors and horses of different sizes, of which some large ones of the original size are suitable for displays in historical museums, fine arts and crafts galleries and as decoration pieces in major hotels as well; They’ve also two and one to four. and the small portable ones of a proportion of one to eight, which are good for gifts to friends and relatives. All these figures and horses of different sizes have not only met the needs of Chinese or foreign visitors to Xi’an, but also helped the Qin Terracotta figures to go out of the country, and into many parts and regions of the world. The Qin bronze-chariots were unearthed on the 3rd of December 1980 when the Chinese archeologists were doing the excavations by the sides of the Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Wonderful in craftsmanship the two bronze chariots are exquisitely shaped and splendidly painted. Plump and sturdy, the draught-horses are fully rigged up and superbly decorated in gold and silver fittings. The drivers are standing or kneeling and colorfully painted the}’ are in girdled gowns with knotted hair in tall hats. To meet the needs of tourists, Chinese and foreign for souvenir, decoration and display at home the fine-art and handicraft workers succeeded in reproducing them after years of insidious study and work on it. The replica of the bronze- chariots fall into different sizes of one half, one quarters or even the mini-sized one of one eighths in proportion to the original. However, all replicas are vivid and true to life either in manner or expression that multifarious needs of various people in society and the world but also added some luster to the Chinese treasure house of fine arts and handicrafts.
Ten Beautiful Aspects of the Qin Terracotta Warriors
The discovery of over 7, 000 pieces of the Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses is a miracle that finds no precedence in the history of Chinese and world sculpture art. These cultural treasure pieces buried under- ground for over 2,000 years have been brought to daylight, full of wonderful elegance. They represent in an explicit way the first high peak in the development of Chinese sculpture art during the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods. The major artistic attainments are epitomized in the following 10 aspects in esthetic point of view. 1. Beautiful in topic Located on the north of the city gate avenue outside the Mausoleum of the First Emperor of Qin the 7,000 pieces and more Qin Terra-cotta figures and horses represent the mimicry of garrison troops outside Xianyang, the capital city of Qin Dynasty. The sculptured figures show neither a scene in which the Qin soldiers are locked in a fierce battle with the enemy or that of guards of honor and entourage out on a parading tour but a moment in which they are in battle formation, ready for setting out to the battlefield, thereby giving visitors quite a lot to think over or muse upon.
2. Beautiful in posture. The terracotta figures are tall and robust, numerous in number. Standing in lines and columns the soldiers are strictly arrayed in battle-formation, which has never been seen in the history of world sculpture art. It has a charm so strong as to make people feel as though they were in a battlefield, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers are engaged in a fierce fighting with thundering drums and horses neighing, thus bringing forward the beautiful stance of the formation.
3. Beautiful in battle-formation The Qin terracotta pits are very large underground barracks. The ten pieces in No. I Pit help bring the scene of a combined formation of soldiers and Chariots, No 2 Pit being that of soldiers, cavalrymen and chariots and No.3 Pit the army headquarters in its reality. The three pits putting together form a large complex of an army-array. Through this way a life-like Qin troops of millions strong with thousands of chariots and tens of thousands of battling-horses are brought out to the scene in a vivid way, showing the charm and magnificence of an invincible army.
4. Beautiful in richness of contents Disposed in the three pits the Qin terracotta warriors and horses of over 7, 000 strong together with dozens of chariots and tens of thousands of weapons occupy a floor space of around 20, 000 square meters, suggesting a sense of strict formation, an army which is substantially equipped, yet without any sense of crowdedness.
5. Beautiful in being of tall and sturdy statures Sculptures and buildings of the First Qin Emperor’s time are all featured with hugeness and magnificence. The Qin terracotta figures, averaging 1. 8 meters in height and the tallest 1.95 meters, are the largest terra-cotta figures so far we’ve discovered. The clay materials will shrink at the time of being dried and shrink again and again when being flied. According to test the suitable temperature for turning out the Qin terra-cotta pieces ranges somewhere between 900℃- 1,200℃, and the total shrinkage is more than 50 %. Therefore, the size of a terracotta figure at the time of being sculptured would be much larger than what is actually seen now, suggesting the esthetic sense of the time in be tall and sturdy.
Terracotta Warriors and Horses
6. Beautiful ill splendidness. The terracotta figures we see now figures but the color of the clay. The terracotta figures were colorfully thousands of years underground and exposure to weathering after the excavation. Judging from the remaining traces the colors for the war-robes are largely vermilion, orange, white, greenish, dark-green and purple, purplish, greenish and vermilion. The scales of armors are blackish, and the groups of scales and girdles are vermilion. The faces, hands and insteps of the terracotta figures are all pinkish, showing off a substantial something vigorous and lively into the static group sculptures of the Qin terracotta figures but also set off skillfully and vividly the artistic vision of an army full of power and grandeur.
7. Beautiful in individuality. With different postures and expressions, each and every of the 7,000 and more terracotta figures have their own vivid individuality. Persons of different ages in different social statuses bear different character. The figures and horses in the Qin terracotta pits are certainly modeled after real persons and horses. Therefore, it brings forward a sense that thousands of figures have thousands of different laces and varied characteristics.
8. Beautiful in spaciousness. The spacious beauty of the Qin terracotta figures is mainly expressed in its cable form of well-proportioned three dimensions. Judging by the record jotted down from a careful analysis of 3, 119 facial lines and wrinkles of 5, 237 terracotta figures the anthologists discover that the discernible rate of philtrum and frontal furrows reaches 100% while that of the upper-and-lower eyelid hollows and the upper-socket furrows Js more than 95 %. The discernible rate of wrinkles on foreheads and between eyebrows is over 20 % and the wrinkles on faces, at nose-clads or crowfeet up to 0. 4% -5.2%. It can be ascertained that the facial expressions of the Qin terracotta figures were portrayed vivid and lifelike. As compared to the Sculpture of Venus done in ancient Greece, which has only few furrows displayed at the philtrum and on the forehead the subtleness and accuracy mastered by ancient Chinese sculptors are really marvelous.
9. Beautiful in craftsmanship. The making of the Qin terracotta figures is a combination of sculpturing and moulding but with sculpturing as a main method. The moulding of the torso is simple and terse but rich in the lasting appeal of freehand expressions. For instance, the head of terracotta Figure is first moulded into a certain shape and then carved with a meticulous care and flawless artistry. The armors of the terracotta figures and the five facial organs are all carved in a way as if they were something real. However. the beards or whiskers of the terracotta warriors are done in an extravagant way. So far as the technique is concerned, such ways moulding, piling, patching, Kneading, cawing and painting are used to combine sculpture and relief, line carving, moulding and drawing into one, thereby forming the special craftsmanship of the Chinese nation.
10．Beautiful in composition. The three pits of the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses cover an area more than 40, 000 square meters. The terracotta figures are tall and sturdy, numerous in groups and distinctive in individuality. The designing and composition of the three pits of Qin terracotta pieces are in great harmony, showing the creative genius and skillful workmanship of designers. By blending the part into the whole and something individual merged into group they sorted out variations in unity and highlighting individuality from among generality, thus making every, single part a whole lot of its own, forming a vivid and wondrous picture.
Take bus No.306/ No. 307/ No.915/ No. 914, board the bus on East Square of Xian Railway Station, bus charges CNY7-10 per person (ticket cost varies among different buses); Or you can take a taxi/ rent a car from travel agency. It usually takes 45mins – 1hour from Xian city area to Terracotta Warriros.