We head off to see the Terra Cotta army. We come across a workshop that depicts the construction of these soldiers, and gather information about the process.
These soldiers were made with clay gathered from the yellow river. First they produce a two sided mold, and the clay is filled into these molds. The Molds are then closed and heated in large ovens in 900 degrees. Then they are painted, and recooked after each layer of paint. The amount required for cooking differs for each kind of paint. The process takes on different cycles as I have mentioned and what is astounding is that this was done 2300 years ago. Each soldier has a different face, with their expressions harsh and sharp. This was made on purpose due to them being soldiers marching to battle and also scare those who venture into the tombs. The swords and the bows in their hands original.
After learning about the army, we head to a Chinese restaurant and eat our meals. Next stop is the tomb of the Qin Shi Huang which China was named after. Qin Shi Huang rose to the throne at the age of 13 (221 B.C). and died at the age of 49. He started the construction of the Great Wall of China and built the underground city of 56 km squares. The area of 16.000 km2 has been discovered so far with 7.000 soldiers, horses and war chariots. The excavations are still ongoing.
Emperor Qin Shi Huang believing that he will live once again after dying at the skirts of the Li mountains, constructed a model of Chinese realm, by working 720.000 Chinese through 36 years. He ordered a bronze carriage for himself. In this carriage weighing 1 ton, and has the shape of a turtle, the passengers can see the rider but the rider can’t see the passengers. The parasol on top of the car can be changed in angle according to the position of the sun. There are bronze handkerchiefs placed inside the car with the shapes of silk towels. An honorary guard battalion of 34 protects the carriage. He constructed 8 thousand soldiers to protect himself in the afterworld, with different ranks and weapons. The haircuts, moustaches, and facial structure of the soldiers are all different but they share one feature, they have a very dedicated and angry look on their faces. They have bronze bows, and spears in their hands, and the armors of the generals of 2 meters in height. They named this Terra Cotta meaning the soil. The statues here are painted in many colors and give the vibe that they can come to life at any time.
The soldiers are aligned in 4 lines, in 11 corridors. There are no female soldiers among them. The emperor wanted the women alive. Thus 3.000 of the Emperor’s women were buried alive with him. Those who worked in the construction of this tomb, never made it out alive as well. The tomb was buried with land and tree on top. All the books mentioning this secret were burned and the scientists and scholars were killed with their students. All the treasury of the Qin resides here as well.
The surpassing emperor and the public never left Qin alone at his tomb. They looted and destroyed all the Terra Cotta soldiers, and the statues were left buried underground for 2000 years in damaged condition. On the march 29th of 1974, the local village people, suffering from drought was digging for underground water sources and they found here. The 4 villages who found these pieces informed the authorities and the largest archaeological excavation of the 20th century began. The government gave 5 Yuen’s per person to the 4 villages who found the place. Only one of the 4 villagers is still alive, and he is signing books at the entrance of the site.
The pieces gathered throughout the excavation of 24 years are brought together like pieces of a puzzle. The Terra Cotta Army stands once again and is now protected by the UNESCO.
Xian became the capital city of 13 dynasties.