The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The terracotta army figures were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.
The Age of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is estimated to be over 2,200 years old, dating back to the time of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). The figures were crafted in workshops by government laborers and artisans using local clay and were fired in kilns at temperatures of up to 1,000°C.
The figures were originally painted in bright colors, with realistic features. However, over time, the paint has mostly worn off due to exposure to the elements.
The Purpose of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army was built to accompany the emperor in his afterlife and protect him in the afterlife. The figures were buried with the emperor in a vast underground mausoleum complex that included numerous other artifacts and treasures.
The figures were arranged in battle formations to provide a symbolic representation of the emperor’s power and strength. The figures were also believed to possess spiritual power that would help protect the emperor in the afterlife.
The Impact of the Terracotta Army
The discovery of the Terracotta Army had a profound impact on the world. It was one of the first archaeological discoveries of its kind and has become one of the most iconic symbols of Chinese history and culture.
The Terracotta Army has also been credited with helping to shape the world’s understanding of ancient Chinese culture. The figures provide insight into the life and times of the Qin Dynasty, including its technology, art, and culture.
The Legacy of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army has become an important part of Chinese culture and history. It has been the subject of numerous books, movies, and other media. It has also become a popular tourist attraction, with millions of people visiting the site every year.
The Terracotta Army has become a symbol of the power and legacy of the Qin Dynasty and is an important reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.