What occurred following the discovery of the Terracotta Army?

Tourist Attractions

By Kristy Tolley

The Terracotta Army Discovery

The Terracotta Army is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in history, and it was found by accident in 1974 by farmers digging a well in Xi’an, China. The site is the burial ground of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The Terracotta Army is a collection of life-size terracotta soldiers, horses, chariots, and weapons that were placed in the mausoleum to protect and accompany the emperor in the afterlife.

Archaeological Excavation and Conservation

The excavation and conservation of the Terracotta Army began shortly after its discovery, and it is an ongoing process. Archaeologists have been carefully uncovering, restoring, and studying the different pits and artifacts found in the mausoleum. They have also implemented measures to preserve the site, such as controlling temperature and humidity levels inside the pits, and using advanced scientific technologies to analyze the materials used in making the terracotta figures.

Historical Significance of the Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is not only a representation of the military power and achievements of the Qin dynasty but also a reflection of the cultural, artistic, and technological advancements of the time. It provides valuable insights into the political and social structure of the period and the beliefs and practices of the people regarding death and the afterlife. The discovery of the Terracotta Army has also shed light on the influence of Emperor Qin Shi Huang on China’s history and his unification of the country.

First Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum

The mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang covers an area of around 56 square kilometers, and it is believed to contain numerous pits and burial chambers that are yet to be excavated. The mausoleum is a complex structure that includes underground palaces, lakes, and gardens, as well as the pits where the Terracotta Army was found. The mausoleum was built using the most advanced architectural and engineering techniques of the time.

Pit 1: The Largest and Most Impressive

Pit 1 is the largest and most impressive of the three pits discovered so far, and it contains over 6,000 terracotta figures. The pit was designed to resemble a military formation, with rows of infantry, cavalry, and chariots. The terracotta soldiers are arranged in battle formation, with each figure having a unique facial expression and hairstyle. The pit is 230 meters long and 62 meters wide, and it is estimated that it took around 700,000 workers to build.

Pit 2: The Military Array of the Terracotta Army

Pit 2 is smaller than Pit 1 but contains over 1,000 terracotta figures. The pit is divided into several corridors and chambers, each showcasing a different aspect of the military and civilian life at the time. The terracotta soldiers in Pit 2 are more diverse in terms of their clothing, armor, and weapons, indicating that they represented different ranks and units in the army.

Pit 3: The Headquarters of the Terracotta Army

Pit 3 is the smallest of the three pits and contains the command center of the Terracotta Army. The pit is believed to represent the emperor’s personal army, with soldiers and officials in civilian clothing and armor. The pit also contains a bronze chariot and horses, along with other bronze artifacts.

The Bronze Chariots and Horses

The bronze chariots and horses were found in the mausoleum’s burial chamber, and they are believed to have been used in the emperor’s funeral procession. The chariots are intricately designed and decorated, with movable parts and detailed engravings. The horses are also well-crafted, with realistic poses and lifelike expressions. The chariots and horses are now on display at the museum next to the Terracotta Army site.

Restoration and Exhibition of the Terracotta Army

The restoration and exhibition of the Terracotta Army have been ongoing since its discovery, and the site has become one of China’s top tourist attractions. The museum next to the site houses the terracotta figures and artifacts found in the mausoleum, along with other historical and cultural relics. The museum has implemented advanced display and conservation technologies to showcase the Terracotta Army in all its grandeur.

Visitors and Tourism to the Terracotta Army Site

The Terracotta Army site attracts millions of visitors each year, both from China and abroad. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is recognized as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in the world. The site’s popularity has led to some challenges in terms of managing visitor flow, preserving the site, and maintaining its authenticity.

Controversies and Challenges Surrounding the Terracotta Army

There have been controversies and challenges surrounding the Terracotta Army, such as the authenticity of some of the figures and the impact of tourism on the site’s preservation. There have also been debates about whether all the terracotta figures have been excavated or whether there are still undiscovered pits and chambers in the mausoleum.

Future Research and Preservation of the Terracotta Army

The future research and preservation of the Terracotta Army are crucial to its continued significance and cultural value. Archaeologists and scientists continue to study the materials and technologies used in making the terracotta figures and the mausoleum’s structure. The site’s preservation and management will require ongoing efforts to balance tourism and conservation and to ensure the site’s authenticity and historical integrity.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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