Wednesday, January 7, 2009

xi'an series: The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses---- the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'

In some movies, like the Mummy series, people call for the power of the dead army to fight for them. Do you believe that there is a real dead army in China, but they can’t be called for? Actually, they are not real people, but made from terracotta. Today, we will go to the topic.

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century, is undoubtedly a must see in Xi’an. Its grandeur and mystery really overwhelm people who pay a visit. Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations symbolically guard the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang , the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (246-209B.C). It is cited as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' and was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.

Who had built this great job? Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life, including the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. According to Records of the Historian written over 2,000 years ago by Sima Qian, the construction of the grand project involved 700,000 laborers and took 36 years to be completed. This great treasure remained unknown till 1974. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xi’an in droves to study and to extend the digs. In 1975, to the protection of the discovery, the State Council authorized the building of a museum on the site. Now Xian and the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses have become landmarks on all travelers' itinerary.

The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.

0 评论: