Xi’an, China, in about 200 BC, was the home of one of China’s vainest emperors. Emperor Qin Shi Huang was China’s first emperor and he must have been paranoid and obsessed with danger. He began the construction of the Great Wall, and, later, decided that the only way to protect himself in the after-life was to be buried with an army. Thus, he constructed the Terra Cotta Warriors, thousands of life-size figures, in battle formation, within his tomb.
The tomb was not discovered until 1974, quite by accident, but has become one of the most important archaeological finds in history. Visitors can view several of the pits which have been excavated. Be prepared to marvel at the realism of the site, where every soldier has a different face. There are horses and chariots, infantrymen, archers, officers, etc. What an unbelievable place! If you can get to China, be sure that Xi’an is part of your itinerary.
Here are some pictures from our visit in 2008.
Here is Pit 1, which contains mostly Infantrymen.