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The Warrior Army Xian China

The Terracotta Army, literal meaning: "Soldier and Horse Figures"), inside the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, was discovered in March 1974 during the sinking of wells for farmland irrigation construction near Xian China, Shaanxi province.

Professional excavation of the vaults started soon thereafter.

The army consists of more than 7,000 life-size tomb terracotta figures of warriors and horses buried with the self-proclaimed first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC.

With their burial, it was believed that the Emperor would still have troops at his command. The Terracotta Army were buried in battle formation in many vaults, 1.5 kilometers east of the tomb of the Emperor, which is 33km east of Xian China. Three vaults, measuring about 4-8 meters deep, have been excavated and a museum set up on the ruins. Called Xian First Qin Emperor's Terracotta Army Museum, Vault 1 was opened to the public in 1979, and the whole museum was completed in 1994.

The figures were painted before being placed into the vault. The original colors were visible when the pieces were first unearthed. However, exposure to air caused the pigments to fade, so today the unearthed figures appear terracotta in color.

The figures are in several poses including standing infantry and kneeling archers as well as charioteers with horses. Each figure's head appears to be unique showing a variety of facial features and expressions as well as hairstyles.

Bronze Chariots

In 1980, two painted bronze chariots were discovered, 20 meters west of the tomb of the Emperor. Consisting of 3000 parts, each of the chariots is driven by an imperial charioteer and drawn by 4 horses. According to the Han Dynasty scholar Cai Yong, the first chariot was for clearing the road for the Emperor's entourage, and the second was his sleeping chariot.

The bridles and saddles of the horses are inlaid with gold and silver designs and the body of the number 2 chariot has its sliding windows hollow cut. Both are half-life size and are now displayed in the Museum.

In 1987, UNESCO added the Terracotta Army and the Tomb of the First Qin Emperor to the list of the World Heritage Sites.

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