The Ultimate Guide & All You Need To Know About the History behind Terracotta Army

Barsbold Baatarsuren
Barsbold Baatarsuren Mar 11 min read
Terracotta Army (1)

Terracotta Army is one of China's must-see attractions and it should definitely be added on to your bucket list. The Terracotta Army is part of the world's largest ancient imperial tomb complex and is known as a greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.

It was an afterlife army for Emperor Qin and was built to guard the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and assist him in his planned conquest of the afterlife. At that time, it was believed that objects like statues can be animated in the afterlife.

It is an army for afterlife.

The main objective of the Terracotta warriors was to guard the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and protect him in the afterlife.

These warriors are in military arrays, consisting of cavalry, infantry, archers, and charioteers and each held a weapon in their right hand.

In ancient times, the nobles used to believe in life after death and also believed that they would be leading the same kind of life.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was a mighty figure and great leader in battlefield throughout his lifetime, so he desired to have an army by his side to fight against the enemies in the afterlife beside him as well.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang is the owner of the Terracotta Army.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang is the first emperor in Chinese history and the first person to unite the several Chinese kingdoms all under a single ruler, forming a huge empire that persisted on from 221 BC until 1912, the time when the Republic of China was recognized. He is also renowned commonly as the owner of the Terracotta Army.

The emperor used to believe in life after death, and he was also a believer in gods and ghosts. He also commenced the construction of his tomb as soon as he ascended to the throne so he could live the same kind of life in his afterlife.

He also tried to seek ways in which he could be immortal but soon he realized that this was not possible but however, he still believed he would be able to enjoy his never ending power once he dies with the Terracotta Army besides him to protect his kingdom.

Terracotta Warriors were found when digging a well.

The Terracotta Warriors was not discovered until they were excavated just by chance by a group of farmers.

When In 1974, the farmers in the neighboring Xiyang Village were mining a well, they stuck something hard under the ground and then they dug deeper.

After careful examination by archeological experts, they found that the pottery remains should be parts of the Terracotta Warriors from Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb.

The Terracotta Army is a part of Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum.

It is particularly known according to historical records that the complete area of the mausoleum is around 5,625 hectares, making it 71 times larger than the Imperial palace of the Forbidden City.

The earth covering the mausoleum mound piled up to more than 160 meters (525 feet) high, under which the underground palace of the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum lies.

The historical records say that there are still many things and countless treasures to be discovered that are in the underground palace.

It is believed that once it is excavated the discovery that will be made would be even more startling than the Egyptian Pyramids.

Several other parts exclusive the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum comprises of the Three Layers of City Walls to guard the underground palace.

Terracotta Army is fired with clay.

Making the Terracotta Warriors was a time and efforts consuming work as the emperor hired a workforce of more than 700, 000 artisans to make his dream army.

Terracotta Army is fired with clay

They were said to begin working as Qin Shi Huang got to power at just 13 years.

The emperor died at just 50 years. They carved 8,000 life-size bodies among other things which took 36 years to complete.

The craftsmen first made separate parts of the warrior body from terracotta and then assembled them together. Secondly, they carved the small details of the head before connecting and fitting it to the main body. After that, the made warriors are placed into a stove to be fired.

No two warriors are exactly the same.

If you look at the warriors closely you will be surprised to know that no warriors look alike. Each soldier has different facial expressions and even the hairstyles and clothes are according to military ranks which differ from each other.

The warriors looked lifelike and real that some even doubt that they were actually made using real people.

The warriors were once colored.

These warriors were once known to be colored different from the grey and earth yellow appearance you now see.

They were painted with natural pigments which were refined from minerals. Most soldiers were painted to have black hair and pink faces.

However, being buried for 2200 years, they remain in their bright colors after they were first unearthed.

But because there was lack in technologies in previous times the colors could not be preserved once exposed in air.

All the warriors are facing to the east.

Many people have different opinions on why they believe the Terracotta warriors were facing the east. The most popular belief though is that it shows Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s determination to defeat and conquer the other states, as the Qin State was located to the western side of the other five states.

Also, after he conquered ther states, he feared that the sould would take revenge, so he ordered the army to be made towards the east to defend him.

There meant to be more Terracotta Warriors.

There are 8000 warriors of the Terracotta Army approximately. However it is believed that there could be more of them. Archeologists reckoned that the whole area which was made was not finished because of the outburst of the peasants’ revolutions at the end of the Qin Dynasty. Had it been finalized, there would have been more Terracotta Warriors that we could view.

No female soldiers in the Terracotta Army.

Up till now, no female soldiers have been found in the Terracotta Army yet.

There were no female to be found in the terracotta army because men were privileged in ancient China. In those historical times, men and women has their different roles in society according to their strength.

In very rare cases it was possible for a women to join the army, and when wars took place, young men ought to be recruited for the army.

In China’s ancient times, in the Qin dynasty, women were only allowed to join the emergency backup army. Still not in the regular battle forces. Hence, it was pretty normal to see the absence of woman soldiers in the Terracotta Army.

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