Who succeeded the first emperor of China
In 1974 in the central Chinese province of Shaanxi, farmers made an incredible discovery: while building a well, they found the first fragments of the legendary Chinese terracotta army. After a few field tests and drilling it was clear: on the fields of Lintong there is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. But what about the thousands of clay warriors and where can you see them today?
The Terracotta Army - Mysterious Clay Warriors
Long before the sensational discovery, it was clear - the clay warriors and their slaughter horses must have existed at some point. Various records from the early imperial era document the creation of the legendary army, but the discovery when building a well in Lintong was a happy coincidence.
The find was a happy coincidence
After the amazing find, the first excavations and laborious uncovering of the figures began in 1974 about 36 kilometers northeast of Xi’an, but to this day only a quarter of the complex has been developed. Since 1987 the around 8000 strong terracotta army a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts visitors from all over the world. They have the chance to visit the different figures, horses and military equipment in the museum and see the imposing army up close.
The burial place of an emperor
The huge army was commissioned in 221 BC from the just 13 years old Qin Shi Huang Di, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. He is considered one of the most successful and fearless fighters of the time.
- Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from March to November
- Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from November to March
- Admission around € 20
- Passport must be presented
He is said to have united seven warring royal houses into one great empire and thus given the history of China a completely new direction. His legacy? One of the largest mausoleums in the world, consisting of an enormous burial mound, a huge burial complex and of course the impressive terracotta army. Thousands of infantrymen, archers, equestrian corps and generals have guarded the emperor's grave for millennia and make the place one of the most exciting objects for archaeologists worldwide.
Even Mao Zedong, the then President of China, who despised everything traditional, had such a great respect for the emperor's work that he placed the Terracotta Army under protection. A gesture that shows how important the find is.
Is the Terracotta Army in Danger?
Today the preservation of the Terracotta Army is in danger, because climate change and the rapid growth in China, which did not stop at Lintong, continue to affect the excavation site. Even small tremors in the earth, such as those that occur when building new residential areas, damage the stone figures that are thousands of years old. So it is to be hoped that the government will come up with something to protect the site so that the impressive army will stay with us for a long time to come.
Has the Chinese Terracotta Army been on your bucket list for a long time? I can understand that, after all, the excavation site is one of the most beautiful sights in China. Look in my flight search for cheap China flights or have a suitable trip put together in my travel forum. I am happy to help you with your travel planning.
Featured image: Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com
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