Terracotta army is a collection of funeral statues of the soldiers and horses. The collection of soldiers and horses belong to the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang. This form of funerary art was buried with the emperor to protect him even after his death. Ancient people believed that there is life even after a person die. The emperor belonged to the period 259 to 210 BC. Terracotta army was unidentified and unknown to people until 1974. It was founded in Lintong district of Shaanxi province. Terracotta army contains warriors, horses, and chariots. Three pits of the Terracotta army were discovered in the year 2008 which consist of 8000 soldiers, 150 cavalry horses, 520 horses and 130 chariots. There are non-military terracotta figures consisting of the musicians, officials, strongmen, and acrobats. The non-military terracotta figures were discovered recently in a separate pit. Here is a list of top 10 unfamiliar terracotta army facts.
1 : Eighth wonder of the world
The French President, Jacques Chirac described the Terracotta Army as the ‘Eighth wonder of the world’. The Terracotta Army is world famous for its unique features and art form. Jacques Chirac commented that one who hasn’t seen the Terracotta Army and the related art forms has not visited China at all. Within no time after the discovery of the terracotta army, the world knew about this. Such is the uniqueness of this art form. The terracotta army can not only bring chills among people through its structures and form but also with an interesting history.
2 : Every soldier is unique
Each and every 8000 soldiers discovered until are unique and different from each other. There were only eight molds used to design the heads of 8000 soldiers but each soldier has different facial expression. This reveals the beauty of this art form and the level of artistry and craftsmanship. However, the hands of the soldiers are identical.
3 : Unimaginable number of laborers engaged in building the tomb
One can never imagine the number of labor hands required to build the tomb and the Terracotta army. It is estimated that 700000 labors constructed the tomb and the terracotta army and it took 40 years to complete. The clay soldiers were constructed using the early assembly line type of construction.
4 : Elixir of life
Elixir of life means the bug of immortality. The first emperor of Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang had a strong desire to live forever and not see any signs of death. In order to discover how to become immortal, the emperor spent a lot of resources. It is believed that constructing terracotta army was a part of his quest.
5 : Appearance of the soldiers
There are various dimensions of soldiers in the terracotta army troop. The tall ones are arranged at the back and are usually the Generals. Most of the statutes have the dimensions of 5 foot 11 inches tall. There are 6 foot 7 inches tall soldiers also. These statues represent the battalion of the Chinese army. The statues are dressed like the cavalry and foot soldiers. Some are dressed in plain clothes. All the statues are made of clay and decorated with paints.
6 : Extraordinary weapons
During the excavation, the archaeologists have discovered 40000 weapons. The weapons were made up of bronze and include crossbows, spears, battle axes, and arrowheads. These weapons had chrome plating and thus remained well preserved even though it was untouched for more than 2000 years.
7 : Remained untouched for many years
The terracotta army was unknown to the world until the local Chinese farmers discovered in the year 1974. It remained buried for more than 2200 years. The farmers came across terracotta army while they were digging a well. This prompted the Chinese archaeologists to explore China’s greatest archaeological site.
8 : Death of the laborers and the artisans
A large number of laborers died during the construction of the terracotta army. It is reported that remaining artisans and the laborers were killed after the construction of the terracotta army and the tomb to preserve the secrecy of the location and the treasures buried within.
9 : UNESCO World Heritage site
The terracotta army is the oldest burial grounds to be discovered and excavated in the modern world. The horses in the archaeological sites were saddled and this proves that the saddles were invented before the Qin dynasty. The terracotta army plays a significant role in exposing the history and the craftsmanship. Therefore, it was declared as the UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1987.
10 : The emperor’s tomb has not been discovered yet
Only 1% of the emperor’s tomb has been excavated. There are records which tell that mercury streams are laid on the floor of the burial chambers to simulate the local rivers and this was proved in the tests conducted by a team of Chinese archaeologists in the year 2005. The fear of destroying the corpse and for the safety measures, the tomb has not yet been discovered.