post

Close Encounter with the Terracotta Army at Xi’an

Pit 1 has the most imposing display with over 6,000 warriors and horses, housed in a building that could fit a few NASA’s space shuttles. All the warriors are in full battle formation and are facing east.

Our first leg of PMPE’s Silk Route PhotoSafari brought us to Xi’an. As the capital of present Shaanxi, Xi’an has served as capital to 11 dynasties over a period of 4,000 years. They includes the Western Han, Qin, Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui and Tung. Xi’an is also the Eastern-most city of the famous Silk Road which brought foreign merchants and various faiths into China.

However, a visit to Xi’an would not be complete without a visit to the Terracotta Army pits. These awe-inspiring life-size pottery figures, modeled from yellow clay, were created to guard the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, an absolute ruler who unified China more than 2,200 years ago.

 

The vanguard of 3 rows of archers is followed by the main force of soldiers, who originally held spears, swords, dagger-axes and other long-shaft weapons.

The vanguard of 3 rows of archers is followed by the main force of soldiers, who originally held spears, swords, dagger-axes and other long-shaft weapons.

The level of detail and intricacy are astonishing - the facial expression, the hairstyles, armor, belts, clothing, tread on the foot wear are all unique.

The sombre looking soldiers and their horses look as if they are alive today and are ready to serve their emperor at a moment notice.

Side view of the Terracotta warriors.

These rows of Terracotta warriors at the staging area look as if they were experiencing a close encounter of the third kind.

From the back, these faceless pottery warriors at the staging area look like any other pottery figurines coming out of the modern production lines. However on closer inspections, we could see the difference in height, hair piece, footwear and clothing.

These pottery horses are really impressive - one can appreciate the muscular built and the amazing expressions.

Pit 3 is the smallest but the most important of the 3 pits. It is believed to be the army command center due to the number of high-ranking officers unearthed here.

An example of the 4 types of Terracotta warriors on display: From left: Standing Archer, Middle-ranking Officer, High-ranking Officer and Cavalryman.

If you would like to bring the Terracotta warriors back home with you, these miniature replicas are for sale. You probably could find one with your own lookalike.

One of the original peasants who accidentally unearthed the Terracotta warriors. He will pose for you if you purchase his book and get his autograph.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: