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Encyclopedia > Terracotta Army
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

View of the largest excavation pit of the Terracotta Army.
State Party China
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv, vi
Reference 441
Region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1987  (11th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

The Terracotta WARRIORS (traditional Chinese: 兵馬俑; simplified Chinese: 兵马俑; pinyin: bīngmǎ yǒng; literally "soldier and horse funerary statues") are the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Shi Huang Di the First Emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by several local farmers near Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Chinese: 秦始皇陵; pinyin: Qín Shǐhuáng Líng). The figures vary in height (184–197cm - 6ft–6ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the Generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.[1] A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2288x1712, 780 KB) Summary I took this picture in summer 2005. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Peoples_Republic_of_China. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia, Australia and the Pacific (Australasia). ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) (November or December 260 BC - September 10, 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BC to 221 BC, and then the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC, ruling under the name First... Terra cotta is a hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC - 210s BC - 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC Years: 215 BC 214 BC 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC - 210 BC - 209 BC 208 BC... Xian redirects here. ...   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ShÇŽnxÄ«; Wade-Giles: Shan-hsi; Postal map spelling: Shensi) is a north-central province of the Peoples Republic of China, and includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River as well as the Qinling Mountains across the... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...

Contents

Introduction

The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 209-210 BC (his reign over Qin was from 247 BC to 221 BC and unified China from 221 BC to the end of his life in 210 BC). Their purpose was to help rule another empire with Shi Huang Di in the afterlife. Consequently, they are also sometimes referred to as "Qin's Armies". Some people think that the army was also built for protection. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3504 × 2336 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3504 × 2336 pixel, file size: 1. ... For the volcano in Indonesia, see Emperor of China (volcano). ... Qin Dynasty in 210 BC Capital Xianyang Language(s) Chinese Government Monarchy History  - Unification of China 221 BC  - Death of Qin Shi Huangdi 210 BC  - Surrender to Liu Bang 206 BC The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the... The monarch known now as Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (259 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE),[1] personal name Yíng Zhèng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE (officially still under the Zhou Dynasty), and... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC - 210s BC - 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC Years: 215 BC 214 BC 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC - 210 BC - 209 BC 208 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC - 210s BC - 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC Years: 215 BC 214 BC 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC - 210 BC - 209 BC 208 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC - 240s BC - 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC Years: 252 BC 251 BC 250 BC 249 BC 248 BC - 247 BC - 246 BC 245 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC - 210s BC - 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC Years: 215 BC 214 BC 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC - 210 BC - 209 BC 208 BC...


The Terracotta Warriors were discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling a water well to the east of Lishan (Mount Li).[2] Mount Li is also where the material to make the terracotta warriors originated. In addition to the warriors, an entire man-made necropolis for the emperor has been excavated. For the record label, see Necropolis Records. ...


According to the historian Sima Qian (145 BC-90 BC) construction of this mausoleum began in 246 BC and involved 700,000 workers. Sima Qian, writing a century after its completion, wrote that the First Emperor was buried with palaces, scenic towers, officials, valuable utensils and 'wonderful objects', with 100 rivers fashioned in mercury and above this heavenly bodies below which he wrote were 'the features of the earth'. Some translations of this passage refer to 'models' or 'imitations' but in fact he does not use those words. [3] Recent scientific work at the site has shown high levels of mercury in the soil of Mount Lishan, appearing to add credence to the writing of ancient historian Sima Qian.The tomb of Shi Huang Di is near an earthen pyramid 76 meters tall and nearly 350 square meters. The tomb remains unopened, in the hope that it will remain intact. Only a portion of the site is presently excavated.[4] Sima Qian Si Ma Qian (司馬遷) (c. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC - 240s BC - 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC Years: 251 BC 250 BC 249 BC 248 BC 247 BC - 246 BC - 245 BC 244 BC... Sima Qian Si Ma Qian (司馬遷) (c. ... Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) (November or December 260 BC - September 10, 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BC to 221 BC, and then the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC, ruling under the name First...

A terracotta soldier and his horse
A terracotta soldier and his horse

Qin Shi Huangdi’s necropolis complex was constructed to serve as an imperial compound or palace. It comprises several offices, halls and other structures and is surrounded by a wall with gateway entrances. The remains of the craftsmen working in the tomb have also been found within its confines, and it is believed they were sealed inside alive to prevent them from divulging information about the tombs. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1712x2288, 787 KB) Summary This is a picture taken in summer 2005 by me. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1712x2288, 787 KB) Summary This is a picture taken in summer 2005 by me. ...


In 2007 Chinese archaeologists, using remote sensing technology, located a 30 meter high building buried above the main portion of the tomb. It appears to have four large stair-like walls. Although one of the archaeologists, Duan Qingbo, suggests that it may have been built to aid the departure of the Emperor's soul, another expert, Chen Jingyuan, questioned the nature of the discovery. He suggested that speculating as to the findings' purpose might cause complicatons for future archeologists. [5]


Of note is that fact that the terracotta soldiers are life sized and that no two are alike. Most researchers believe that each statue is based on an actual soldier of that time.


Construction

Terracotta detail. No two life-sized figures are alike in the tomb.
Terracotta detail. No two life-sized figures are alike in the tomb.

The terracotta figures were manufactured both in workshops by government labourers and also by local craftsmen. The head, arms, legs and torsos were created separately and then assembled. Studies show that eight face moulds were most likely used and then the clay was added to give them individual facial features.[6] Once assembled the intricate features such as facial expressions were added. It is believed that their legs were made in much the same way that terracotta drainage pipes were manufactured at the time. This would make it an assembly line style of production, with specific parts manufactured and assembled after being fired as opposed to crafting one solid piece of terracotta and subsequently firing it. In those days, each workshop was required to inscribe its name on items produced so as to ensure quality control; this has aided modern day historians in verifying that workshops that once made tiles and other every day items were commandeered to work on the terracotta army. Upon completion, the terracotta figures were placed in the pits outlined above in precise military formation according to rank and duty. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 255 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Terracotta Army detail, Xian, China Photo by Peter Morgan http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 255 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Terracotta Army detail, Xian, China Photo by Peter Morgan http://www. ...


The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The colored lacquer finish, individual facial features, and replica weapons and armor used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance. The original weapons were stolen shortly after the creation of the army and the coloring has faded greatly. However, their existence serves as a testament to the amount of labour and skill involved in their construction. It is also a confirmation of the power the First Emperor possessed that enabled him to command such a monumental undertaking as this army's manufacture.


The Pits

The four pits associated with the figures are about 1.5km east of the burial mound and are about 5 meters deep.They are outside the walls of the tomb complex as if placed there to guard the tomb from attack from the east, where all the conquered states lay. They are solidly built with rammed earth walls and ground layers as hard as concrete. Pit 1, 230 meters long, contains the main army, estimated at 6000 figures. Pit One has 11 corridors, most of which are over 3 meters wide, and paved with small bricks with a wooden ceiling supported by large beams and posts. This design was also used for the tombs of noblemen and would have resembled palace hallways. The wooden ceilings were covered with reed mats and layers of clay for waterproofing and then mounded with more soil making them when built about 2 to 3 meters higher than the ground level.[7] Pit 2 has cavalry and infantry units as well as war chariots, and is thought to represent a military guard. Pit 3 is the command post, with high ranking officers and a war chariot. Pit 4 is empty, seemingly left unfinished by its builders.


Destruction and gradual decay

Terracotta figures in various stages of re-assembly after being unearthed.

There is evidence of a large fire that burned the wooden structures that once housed the Terracotta Army. It was described by Sima Qian, who said that the fire was a consequence of a raid on the tomb by General Xiang Yu less than five years after the death of the First Emperor. According to Sima Qian, General Xiang’s army looted the tomb and the structures holding the Terracotta Army, as well as setting fire to the necropolis and starting a blaze that allegedly lasted three months (though no other recorded great fire in history ever lasted more than seven days). Because of this, only one statue has survived intact: a statue of a kneeling archer. Despite the fire, however, much of the remains of the Terracotta Army still survives in various stages of preservation, surrounded by remnants of the burnt wooden structures. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 80 KB)Terracotta Warriors being re-assembled after broken pieces (in packages behind figure) were removed from earth matrix. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 80 KB)Terracotta Warriors being re-assembled after broken pieces (in packages behind figure) were removed from earth matrix. ... Xiang Yu (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsiang Yü; 232 BC – 202 BC) was a prominent general during the fall of the Qin Dynasty. ...


In 1999, it was reported that the warriors were suffering from "nine different kinds of mold", caused by raised temperatures and humidity in the building which houses the soldiers, and by the breath of tourists.[8] In addition, the South China Morning Post reported that the figures have become oxidised grey from being exposed to the air, which may cause arms to fall off, and noses and hairstyles to disappear. [9] However, officials have dismissed these claims.[10] In Daily Planet Goes to China, the Terracotta Warriors segment reported that the Chinese scientists found soot on the surface of the statue, concluding that the pollution introduced from coal burning plants was responsible for the decaying of the terracotta statues. The South China Morning Post, together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is the dominant English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, with a circulation of 104,000. ... Daily Planet is a television program on Discovery Channel Canada and CTV, which features daily news, discussion and commentary on the scientific aspects of current events. ...


Gallery

Notes

  1. ^ Jane Portal and Qingbo Duan, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Arm, British Museum Press, 2007, p. 167
  2. ^ The precise coordinates are 34°23′5.71″N, 109°16′23.19″ECoordinates: 34°23′5.71″N, 109°16′23.19″E)
  3. ^ Jane Portal and Qingbo Duan, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Arm, British Museum Press, 2007, p. 17
  4. ^ The Mausoleum of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and Terracotta Warriors and Horses
  5. ^ 30m building within Emperor Qin's tomb?
  6. ^ Jane Portal and Qingbo Duan, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Arm, British Museum Press, 2007, p. 170
  7. ^ Jane Portal and Qingbo Duan, The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Arm, British Museum Press, 2007, pp260-167
  8. ^ World: Asia-Pacific Pollution threat to terracotta army
  9. ^ Air pollution harms terracotta warriors
  10. ^ Is the terracotta army in danger?

Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

Bibliography

  • Debainne-Francfort, Corrine. "The Search for Ancient China," (Harry N. Abrams Inc. Pub. 1999): 91-99.
  • Dillon, Michael(ed). "China: A Cultural and Historical Dictionary," (Curzon Press, 1998): 196.
  • Ledderose, Lothar. "A Magic Army for the Emperor." from "Ten Thousand Things : Module and Mass Production in Chinese Art" ed. Lothar Ledderose, (Princeton UP, 2000): 51-73.
  • Perkins, Dorothy. "Encyclopedia of China: The Essential Reference to China, Its History and Culture," (Roundtable Press, 1999): 517-518.
  • Portal (ed.), Jane (2007). The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. British Museum Press. ISBN 9780714124476. 
  • Richards, Jack C. Interchange 2, Third Edition, (Cambridge University Press, 2005):80.
  • Macmanus, Caitlyn. Oxford University specialty in China's history.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Terracotta Army
Wikinews has related news:
Unwanted new recruit for two-millenia-old Chinese guard
  • UNESCO description of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
  • People's Daily article on the Terracotta Army
  • Wide angle shot of the Terracotta Army (JPEG)
  • Panography of the main pit: QuickTime or Flash

Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Peoples_Republic_of_China. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Terracotta Army : Exploring Essential Information, Data and Explanation. (571 words)
The Terracotta Army (兵馬俑 in pinyin: bing1 ma3 yong1, literal meaning: "Soldier and Horse Figures"), inside the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (秦始皇陵; qin2 shi3 huang2 ling2), was discovered in March 1974 during the sinking of wells for farmland irrigation construction near
The Terracotta Army was buried in battle formation in 3 vaults, 1.5 kilometres east of the
Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang by Zhongyi Yuan
Terracotta Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1442 words)
The Terracotta Army (Traditional Chinese: 兵馬俑; Simplified Chinese: 兵马俑; pinyin: bīng mǎ yǒng; literally "military servants") or Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses is a collection of 8,099 life-size terra cotta figures of warriors and horses located near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Chinese: 秦始皇陵; pinyin: qín shǐ huáng líng).
The terracotta figures were buried with the first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC.
The Terracotta Army was discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling a water well to the east of Mount Lishan.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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