Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors

Xi’an is a relatively small Chinese city…Just about 10 million people. This would make Xi’an close to the largest American city, if it were located there. The city was a wonderful mix of old and new, including its history as the capitol of Imperial China for almost 1000 years

In 1974, a local farmer was digging a well when he broke into an underground chamber with shards of pottery visible on the ground. Subsequent excavation led to a relocation of the farmer’s property and a discovery of one of the greatest archeological finds of all time. Win Shi Huang was China’s first unifying Emporer. His tomb mound was identified about a mile from this discovery of approximately 6000 clay warriors, ready for battle to serve their Emporer in the afterlife.

Take a close look at the detail of these soldiers. Different hairstyles and uniform styles. And each soldier has unique facial characteristics.  Now I’ll put up a couple photos of the pits before completed excavation so you can see the work that was involved:

The only similar experience I’ve had was in Rome… Pieces of marble lying all over the place that had to be rebuilt archeologically into pillars and buildings. This job looks tougher. All the soldiers, except a small rear guard, faced east (away from the tomb). They have uncovered over 2000 so far with estimations for a total of about 6000. There are horses and chariots as well, although the chariots were wooden and decomposed. There is really no way to describe this splendor other than to say, again, that China, even two thousand years ago, didn’t do anything small. More pics showing the level of detail:

Finally, Mrs Bear and I were officially enshrined as honorary warriors !!


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