Essay China's Terra-Cotta Army

1156 Words Feb 25th, 2011 5 Pages
In March of 1974, while drilling a well, a work brigade of farmers discovered a subterranean chamber nearby the royal tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of China (Encyclopedia Britannica). The superstitious old women of the village believed that the digging would disturb the Earth God. Therefore, due to these spiritual beliefs, they did not report the discovery right away. Eventually, archeologists came to Xi’an in droves to study and extend the digs. This led to the uncovering of three vast pits to the east of the burial tomb. In these pits, chariots, weapons and over 7,000 terracotta soldiers and horses were unearthed (Roberts p. 25). After extensive research, historians and archeologists concluded these terracotta soldiers …show more content…
He constructed an extensive network of roads and canals for travel and trade throughout his empire. Perhaps the two key changes that ensured the unity of Chinese culture were the standardization of currency and the written script (China’s First Emperor).
One of his projects was the construction of his mausoleum at Mount Li, which took 700,000 workers an estimated 11 years to finish. It is believed to contain a model of his empire and includes rivers of mercury and booby traps, as well as many buried treasures and sacrificial objects. It is speculated that in order to guard its secrets, the workers who constructed it were also entombed. This is said to be one of the last examples of mass human sacrifice in Chinese history. Although the location of the emperor’s tomb has long been known, it has yet to be excavated (Roberts p. 25). Another of his projects, which was unknown until the 1974 discovery, was the three vast pits containing the terracotta army. The first pit measures 252 yards long, 68 yards wide and 16 feet deep. There are over 6,000 terracotta warriors and horses, of which 1,000 have been unearthed. The soldiers were assembled from separately kiln-fired sections of terracotta; the lower halves of the bodies are made of solid terracotta clay and the upper halves are hollow. The warriors vary in height ranging from 5’8” to 6 1/2’ tall. They were given individually detailed

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