Wednesday, December 06, 2006

8000 life-size figures in the Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shi Huang Di

Terra Cotta Army Horses
Originally uploaded by e_hoogie.
The terracotta figures buried with the first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC were to protect the Emperor in the afterlife, says
- 8,099 life-size terra cotta figures of warriors and horses.
- Located near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.
- The Terracotta Army was discovered in March 1974.
- Mount Lishan is the name of the man-made necropolis of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty; [Qin Shi Huang].
- Construction of this mausoleum began in 246 BC and is believed to have taken 700,000 workers and craftsmen 38 years to complete.
- According to the Grand Historian Sima Qian, the First Emperor was buried alongside great amounts of treasure and objects of craftsmanship, as well as a scale replica of the universe complete with gemmed ceilings representing the cosmos, and flowing mercury representing the great earthly bodies of water. Pearls were also placed on the ceilings in the tomb to represent the stars and planets, etc.

In the army:
- infantry
- archers
- officers
- crouching or standing pose.
- real weapons such as bronze spears, halberds or swords, or wooden crossbows with bronze fittings.

Excavation at the site has shown a fire burned the wooden structures once housing the Terracotta Army. Such a fire is described by Sima Qian as part of the consequences of the raiding General Xiang Yu less than five years after the death of the First Emperor. It is said that the effects of General Xiang’s army included looting of the tomb and structures holding the Terracotta Army, as well as setting fire to the necropolis and starting a blaze that lasted for three months. Despite this fire, however, much of the remains of the Terracotta Army still survive in various stages of preservation, surrounded by remnants of the burnt wooden structures