The horses were my favourite..
…but how about these?? Totally amazing!
We set off early for the hour’s drive to see the Terracotta Army, this was one of the two places I HAD to see while I was in China! Everyone knows at least something about the warriors so I won’t add much, except the Army was discovered by four farmers digging a well in their village, but only one is credited with the discovery. Sindy (our guide) asked us about what happens when something important and valuable is discovered here in the UK so we explained about ‘Treasure Trove’ where in most cases the treasure is sold and the finder gets half of the money raised. I asked her how much the farmer had got for his discovery, her reply was that he got the regulation amount of 20 yuan - £2. Yes you did read that right!!
Our first sight of the Warriors Pit no.1
I had my souvenir book signed by ‘the farmer’ who discovered the Army. I took that with a pinch of salt, but at least I did get a signed copy of the book. There was also the most amazing Government run shop selling Jade jewellery...... we all had to buy something didn’t we? We did just that, after successfully bartering with the seller and getting the price down by half the original asking price! It still wasn’t cheap but I do love my gorgeous purple jadeite bracelet and wear it most days!!
As this is one of China’s most important tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site no expense has been spared with regard to the buildings and set up of the warriors. I can only imagine the number of visitors that go to see the site every year, and to see the Warriors is absolutely amazing!
The wooden posts are the site of the original well.
As many of you will know the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi is buried under a mound nearby the warriors, to date the Chinese have been unable to excavate the site as they know there are rivers of mercury surrounding the tomb, and until a way is figured out how to deal with the Mercury the tomb will remain untouched.
In the process of being excavated.
Work in progress pit No.1
Restored or almost restored.
The warriors were damaged during unrest in the area shortly after they were finished, and in one of the pits a human bone can be seen, the remains of a tomb robber who fell foul of the poisoned arrows set up to trigger if anyone did try to rob the army.
….and gorgeous horses!
It is also well known that each warrior has different features, and the hair knots denote the rank of each soldier. The Army was highly coloured when first made, when excavation started it was found that after three days the colour just faded to nothing, except in one or two cases. The Germans have found a way to preserve the colour on the warriors, so if future we may be able to see them in full colour which will be amazing!
The sight of the ranks and ranks of soldiers is absolutely amazing as I am sure you can imagine, there are three pits, Number 1 pit holds the main army, with something like 8000 warriors in, pit number 2 holds the cavalry and is where one of the War Chariots were found, and pit number 3 holds the command post and was the original home of the second War Chariot.
One of the few pieces that still shows the original colour.
Much as I loved the soldiers my main interest was with the horses, especially the horses and Chariots, which are just awesome. These are on display in the museum and were well worth fighting our way through the crowds to see, and photo of course!
The hole shows how the horses were made.
Hope you have enjoyed the visit, I certainly did!!!