China - Table of Contents........... Architecture Around the World

Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum
(Terra Cotta Warriors)
Xi'an, China

World Heritage Site

The Terracotta Army or the "Terracotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses.

Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum.  Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

Wikipedia (online Dec. 2013)
Construction of the mausoleum began when Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC) was enthroned at the age of 13.  It was completed 38 years later. This emperor is known for unifying China in 221 BC, and for connecting the various sections of the The Great Wall of China.

"The statues, originally in vivid color, were arranged in long ranks and files, as if if lined up for battle: infantry, cavalry, horses and chariots, archers, lancers, and hand-to-hand fighters. The style of the Qin warriors blends archaic formalism - simplicity of volume and contour, rigidity and frontality - with sharp realism of detail. Set poses are repeated with little of no variation, as if from a single mold, but subtle differences in details of facial features, coiffures, and equipment are delineated." - Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Tenth Edition," by Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Harcourt Brace College Pub. 1996, p. 497

"Some of the figures in pit one and two showed fire damage and remains of burnt ceiling rafters have also been found; these, together with the missing weapons, have been taken as evidence of the reported looting by Xiang Yu and its subsequent burning. The burning is thought to have caused the collapse of the roof which crushed the army figures below, and the terracotta figures presently displayed have been reconstructed from fragments of the crushed figures." - Wikipedia (online Dec. 2013)

"It is believed that their legs were made in much the same way that terracotta drainage pipes were manufactured at the time. This would make it an assembly line production, with specific parts manufactured and assembled after being fired, as opposed to crafting one solid piece and subsequently firing it." - Wikipedia (online Dec. 2013)

"The terracotta army figures were manufactured in workshops by government laborers and by local craftsmen... The head, arms, legs and torsos were created separately and then assembled. Studies show that eight face moulds were most likely used, and then clay was added to provide individual facial features. Once assembled, intricate features such as facial expressions were added." - Wikipedia (online Dec. 2013)

Standing Archer

Standing Archer

Standing Archer

Standing Archer

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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