What was the purpose behind the creation of the terracotta army?

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By Kristy Tolley

The Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is a collection of sculptures made of terracotta that represent the soldiers of the army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The collection is considered one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, and it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The First Emperor of China

Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of China, and he ruled the country from 221 BC until his death in 210 BC. He is known for many achievements, including the unification of the country, the standardization of the currency, weights, and measures, and the construction of the Great Wall of China. He was also responsible for the construction of his mausoleum, which included the creation of the Terracotta Army.

Unification of China

One of the most significant achievements of Qin Shi Huang was the unification of China. Before he became the emperor, China was divided into seven warring states. Qin Shi Huang conquered all the other states and created a single empire, which he ruled with an iron fist. The creation of the Terracotta Army was part of his plan to ensure the longevity of his dynasty.

Building the Mausoleum

Qin Shi Huang began construction on his mausoleum shortly after he became the emperor. The construction lasted over 38 years and involved the labor of hundreds of thousands of workers. The mausoleum was designed to be a representation of the emperor’s power and was filled with treasures and other items that he believed would be useful in the afterlife.

Warriors in the Army

The Terracotta Army is made up of over 8,000 soldiers, each one unique in its appearance. The soldiers were created to protect the emperor in the afterlife and were arranged in battle formation. The soldiers are life-sized and are equipped with weapons and armor. The level of detail in the sculptures is extraordinary, with each soldier’s face and clothing carefully crafted to reflect its rank and position.

Other Figures in the Army

Along with the soldiers, the Terracotta Army also includes other figures, such as horses, chariots, and officials. The horses and chariots were an integral part of the army and were used to transport soldiers into battle. The officials were responsible for managing the army and ensuring its success.

Technology Used in the Army

The creation of the Terracotta Army required advanced technology, such as kilns that could fire large quantities of clay at high temperatures. The artisans who created the sculptures were skilled in the use of molds and other techniques that allowed them to produce the army quickly and efficiently.

Symbolism of the Army

The Terracotta Army was more than just a collection of sculptures. It was symbolic of the emperor’s power and his ability to conquer his enemies. The army was a reminder to his subjects that he was a powerful ruler who would stop at nothing to protect his empire.

Mysteries Surrounding the Army

Despite the extensive research that has been conducted on the Terracotta Army, many mysteries remain. For example, no one knows how the sculptures were painted, and the reason why the army was created is still a subject of debate among scholars.

Archaeological Discoveries

The discovery of the Terracotta Army has led to many other archaeological discoveries in the area. Excavations have revealed the remains of other burial pits and tombs, which have shed light on the customs and beliefs of the people who lived during the Qin dynasty.

Legacy of the Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the people who lived during the Qin dynasty. Its discovery has captivated people around the world and has become a symbol of China’s rich cultural history.

Conclusion: Understanding the Army’s Purpose

The creation of the Terracotta Army was a testament to the power and influence of Qin Shi Huang. The army was not just a collection of sculptures, but a symbol of the emperor’s authority and his ability to conquer his enemies. While many mysteries remain, the Terracotta Army is a significant archaeological discovery that has helped us to understand the customs and beliefs of ancient China.

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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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