Terracotta soldiers are one of the most famous archaeological discoveries in the world. Dating back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), the thousands of life-sized terracotta sculptures were buried in the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The purpose of these figures was to protect the emperor in the afterlife and to provide him with an army to accompany him into the afterlife.
History of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 by a group of local farmers digging a well. The discovery was made in the Lintong District of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, near the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang. It is estimated that there are over 8,000 terracotta soldiers and horses, as well as chariots, archers, and cavalry. The figures vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle, with many depicting individual faces and expressions.
The Making of the Terracotta Army
The terracotta figures were created using a combination of moulds and hand-modelling. The figures were made from clay mixed with sand and water, and then fired in kilns at temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. The figures were then painted with a mixture of earth and animal fat, and then further details were added, such as the facial features, clothing, and weapons.
Significance of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is a unique archaeological find and a remarkable feat of craftsmanship. The figures provide a vivid insight into the life of the Qin Dynasty and the Chinese people of the time. The figures also provide an important record of the military organization of the period, as well as an insight into the burial practices of the time. The figures also demonstrate the skill and artistry of Chinese craftsmen, as well as the technical advances in pottery and sculpture.
Conservation of the Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is a fragile and delicate archaeological find, and so it requires careful conservation and protection. The figures are kept in a controlled environment to protect them from temperature and humidity changes. They are also cleaned and repaired as necessary. In addition, the figures are displayed in purpose-built pits, which are designed to protect them from damage and wear.
The Terracotta Army is an incredible archaeological discovery that has captured the imaginations of people all over the world. The figures provide an insight into the life of the Qin Dynasty, as well as the craftsmanship and skill of the Chinese craftsmen of the time. The figures are carefully preserved and protected, and are a reminder of the power and grandeur of the Qin Dynasty.