If you bury it, sooner or later, someone is going to dig it up…maybe!

We visited the city of Xi’an, China.  It is a former ancient captial and today a city of over 4 million.  It is significant and the home of the Terracotta Warriors. We went to see these Terracotta Warriors. There are over 2000 life-size fired-clay statues of soldiers, archers, officers, infantry, horses, too!  They are located outside of Xi’an.

Terra cotta soldiers

They are over 2000 years old and were only discovered in 1974, when someone was digging a well!  The whole site has become a museum built over the actual archaeological pits, which are still being slowly excavated.  They have found over 2000 figures so far and estimate that there are probably over 7000…a whole army!  They are all part of the first  emperor’s tomb.  The emperor’s  name was Qin Shi Huang and he was the  first unifier of China.  He is credited with having the Great Wall built, having roads built, creating a money system.  He started the Qin Dynasty in about 250 B.C.  The belief was that he would need an army in his afterlife, so he used over 700,000 workers,working for 40 years to construct all these figures.  They made the warriors, fired them, painted them, dug  the tomb space, made columns to put the soldiers into with supports of compressed earth with log uprights, then put all the soldiers in facing east…ready to march into battle with the rising sun…, then put logs over the soldiers for roofs with mats and covered this with soil,.  The largest site is the size of an airplane hangar!  It is very impressive.  It is described as the largest mausoleum in the world, and the “8th Wonder.”

Kneeling warrior

There is something very moving and makes you feel reverent to see all these soldiers, life sized, looking very real.  The artwork and details are amazing.  No two faces look alike!  The tomb had been plundered and many figures broken, so

Warrior headshot

archaeologists have pieced them back together very carefully.  The fact that this was only discovered a little over 30 years ago, shows that there is probably a lot left to be found around here.  In fact, in the paper this week, it said that while they have been building a new subway here in Xi’an, they keep coming across historical artifacts while digging.  Xi’an was the capital of China until the 10th century.  It still has its city walls intact. It is a very old city.  We liked it and really liked the Terracotta Warriors!


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