Friday, May 18, 2012

First Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di and the Terra Cotta Army at Xi'an

Magnet geography / Qin by trudeau
Magnet geography / Qin, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is a collection of sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, says Wikipedia.

It is art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over.

The figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.

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.[1] Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

Please see an overview video:

Weapons such as swords, spears, battle-axe, scimitars, shields, crossbows and arrowheads were found at the pits of the terracotta warriors.[21][29] Some of these weapons such as the swords are still very sharp and found to be coated with chromium oxide. This layer of chromium oxide is 10–15 micrometre thick and has kept the swords rust-free and in pristine condition after 2,000 years.[30][31][32] Chromium only came to the attention of westerners in the 18th century.[33] Many swords contain an alloy of copper, tin and other elements including nickel, magnesium, and cobalt.[34] A Qin crossbow arrow is estimated to have a range of 800 metres.