He stands tall in his coat of plated armour with eyes fixed forward in an expressionless stare. He stands amongst thousands of other warriors just like him. His job is to guard the first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. He is a Terracotta Warrior.
The Terracotta Army was discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling a water well to the east of Lishan (Mount Li). I arrive in Xian and make my way to discover the Terracotta Army myself. The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the Emperor of Qin (Shi Huangdi) 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).
The purpose of the army was to help rule another empire with Shi Huang Di in the afterlife and so therefore is sometimes referred to as “Qin’s Armies”. Some people think that the army was also built for protection.
The Museum of the Terracotta Army was opened to the public in 1979 and is constructed on the site where a collection of over 8,000 clay warriors and horses, more than 10, 000 bronze weapons and two bronze chariots and horses were found. The museum is like a treasure house of Qin Dynasty’s military affairs, science and technology, art and culture. It has been listed as an UNESE “World Heritage Site” and is regarded as the “Eighth Wonder of the world”.
To visit the Terracotta Warriors Museum takes a short drive east of Lintong County, just 37 kilometres away from Xi’an. Around the museum is a scattering of shops where you can take home your very own Terracotta Warrior. It is also easy to find somewhere to eat after exploring the museum with many restaurants in the area.
On the drive back to the hotel we make an afternoon stop at the City Wall, intact and restored. There is the opportunity to climb on top of the wall and ride a bike around the full 14 kilometres of the boundary. I however opt to walk and end the afternoon strolling amongst the markets at the wall base, full of treasures ranging from beaded jade jewellery to authentic Chinese calligraphy scripts.
Visiting the world famous Terracotta Warriors and the city of Xian with Chinatours.com is easy, and my guide Jing offered an extensive background and history to the area which rounded out the experience.
Come see the ancient wonder of Xian for yourself with Chinatours.com.
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