Terracotta Soldiers: An Everlasting Impression

Terracotta soldiers are a marvelous archaeological site discovered in Lintong in China in twentieth century. The terracotta warriors representing the army of Emperor Shihuangdi of Qin Dynasty is an exquisite creation in burnt earth. These terracotta idols numbering around seven thousand are arranged in pits in a museum. The earthen soldiers not only are exemplary creations in clay but also are a reflection Emperor Shihuangdi’s power and authority.

Terracotta soldiers China were created to glorify Shihuangdi’s afterlife. Qin Shihuangdi ascended the throne in 221 BC as King Zheng after which conquered small political regions to create a kingdom. He brought about significant administrative and infrastructural changes.

Feudalism was abolished and provinces were set up under the administration of civilian governors. Currency was standardized and a uniform written language established. His entire kingdom was extensively covered by road network and canals. Such was the dominance of Shihuangdi that after his death in 210 BC, an underground mausoleum was constructed complete with horses, chariots, and warriors.

These terracotta warriors are arranged in three pits covering an area of approximately 16,300 sq. meters. These pits have brick floors with tunnels and earthen partitions in sequence. The tunnel floors are mat covered and supported by logs. The terracotta soldiers were arranged in the form of an army in attention.

Pit 1 is largest with an expanse of nearly 14,000 sq. meters and contains an infantry of soldiers ranging from a height of 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 2 inches. Each of these figures has a solid lower half of terracotta clay and a hollow upper half. In Pit 2 you would find infantry, cavalry and chariots arranged in U-formation. The 3rd pit is the headquarters of the terracotta warriors. In addition to 7000 foot soldiers there are an estimate of 110 cavalry soldiers, and 130 horse drawn chariots.

In the precincts of this mausoleum you could explore extensive areas of cemeteries, horse stables and administrative buildings. Here you would find human and horse armor, chariots, horses, and cranes all sculptured in bronze and ceramic. At the centre is the tomb of Emperoe Shihuangdi. From 16th March to November 14th the museum remains open from 8:30 am till 5:30 pm, and from November 15th to March 15th the opening hours are from 8:30 am to 5 pm.