China Travel with Kids
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Xian's Terracotta Army
Xian's Terracotta Army, discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging the fields, is the collection of +8,000 life-size soldiers built more than 2,000 years ago by Emperor Qin to protect him in the next world.
Every single soldier is unique, no two are alike, their facial expressions, hair style, posture, all denoting their position and rank within the army.
The original weapons carried by the Terracotta Warriors and crafted of metal have all disintegrated.
The Warriors you see today have been reconstructed by teams of dedicated archaeologists, which is in itself an amazing thing considering the condition some of the pieces are in after laying underground for over 2,000 years.
The head, arms and body are hollow, whereas the legs are solid pottery.
When the Terracotta Army was discovered, the farmers, not knowing the relevance of their finding, had been using the hollow heads for household needs, to carry water, for cooking, etc.
Three underground pits have been unearthed and are covered by modern hangar-like structures to protect the treasures.The warriors stand in formation, row after row, it's an amazing sight.
This is only a fraction of what is believed to be Emperor Qin's splendid grave which to date remains a mystery.
Another round of excavation has recently commenced and work is ongoing at the moment.
A new museum is being set up to accomodate the new works and artifacts being uncovered. This is a very exciting development, as the pit will be open for tourists to watch as the excavation work proceeds. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the project, this pit is only one of 180 funerary pits of the Qin Mausoleum, so there is still much work to be done.
After you visit the pits, drop by the museum store and look for the old man signing books, that's Yang Zhi Fa, the only one of the farmers that discovered the Terracotta warriors still alive today. He is sort of a "mini-celebrity" and likes to come around and sign books, so there's a chance you might run into him!
Popular Xian Family Adventures
Biking, Warriors, Dumplings!
Here are some of the most popular Xian Terracotta Army Tours
We recommend: The Emperor's Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O'Connor
A Story of hidden arrows, a poisoned king, hidden treasures...
Jane O'Connor visited the Terracotta Warriors while on vacation in January 2000. Since her visit, the sight of rows upon rows of these magnificent army, left her wanting to learn more. Since then, she started learning all she could about the warriors, and the Emperor who had them built. When she found out there were no books for children about this fascinating piece of history, she decided to write one!
Jane tells the story of how the first statues were discovered by the farmers and the archaeologists later discovery of thousands upon thousands of figures after being buried for more than 2000 years. Then she tells the story of Emperor Qin and his measures in building the army to protect him in his afterlife.
Details like the logic to the arrangement of the Army and the difference between the 350 chariot horses and the more than 100 cavalry horses are explained as well as the techniques used more than 2000 years ago to create the statues in a language that easily captures interest.
This book is sure to engage children and adults alike with the many color photographs, computer images, maps and charts.
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Terracotta Warrior StatuesThe major form of Qin Shi Huang's Army:
Artistic Chinese Creations.com
Your Source for Chinese Cultural Products
Aproximate sizes of statues:
12" x 4.75" x 3.5 /box
(30.5cm x 12cm x 9cm)
$49.80 each, free shipping
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