Xian Terracotta Warriors


Xian's Terracotta Warriors and Horses (other names: Terracotta ArmyTerracotta Soldiers) has astounded the world with their artistry and sheer numbers since its excavation in 1974 and has been regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Added to the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1987, this over 2200 years old ghost army is no doubt a great archaeological discovery which brings the world an insight to the ancient China. Any Xian Tour without a visit to this attraction is not complete. 


The exquisite Terracotta Warriors

Basic information
Site: The Qin Terra-cotta Warrior Figures & Horses Museum (in Chinese:秦陵兵马俑博物馆) 
Address: Qinling North Road, Lintong District, Xi'an 710600, China 
Location: About 35 kilometers northeast of Xian, about 50 minutes’ drive 
When the museum was built: 1975 
When the museum was open: October, 1979 
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Touring time: 2 - 4 hours 

Why and when it was made 
1.5 kilometers away from the site of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses lies the mausoleum of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210 B.C.), the first unifier of the ancient China and the founding emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Qin Shi Huang took the throne in 246 B.C. and started to build the mausoleum, which is said to be a grand complex that mirrors the urban plan of the capital at that time - Xianyang and now remains untouched due to the complex conditions inside. As a part of the mausoleum, the Terracotta Army was constructed to guard the mausoleum and protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.

When and how it was found
This incredible historical site was found in 1974 by accident, when a group of farmers were digging a well. A few broken clay statues were found first. Soon the archaeologists came and this buried historical treasure was unearthed. In 1975, the government built a museum right on the site. After years of surveying and excavating, more and more terracotta figures were excavated and in 1979 the museum was open to public, which leads us to taste the old days of the ancient China.

The pits and exhibition hall inside the museum 
The Qin Terra-cotta Warrior Figures & Horses Museum includes the Bronze Chariots and Horses Exhibition Hall, the Circle Vision Cinema and most of all, four partially excavated pits, namely Pit No. 1, Pit No. 2, Pit No. 3 and Pit No. 4. Covering about 20, 000 square meters, this museum contains an estimated amount of 8, 000 life-size terracotta figures, including warriors, horses, chariots and some bronze weapons.

- Among these pits, Pit No. 1 is the largest and the most magnificent. Being the first place excavated in 1974, it covers an area of 14, 260 square meters and contains probably 6, 000 terracotta infantry soldiers. Pit No. 2 is the second largest (about 6, 000 square meters), excavated in 1976, and is known for its vivid and abundant cavalry figurines. Pit No. 3 was discovered in 1976 as well. It measures 520 square meters, with only 72 terracotta figures. Evidences show that it was probably the command center of the Terracotta Army. Today Pit No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 are all open to visitors while Pit No. 4 is not. Pit No. 4 is the only one that is empty and unfinished, suggesting the planned work of the Terracotta Army didn’t complete.



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