The amazing collection of life-size statues of an army buried in a massive burial mausoleum is one of the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
The Xi’an’s Terracotta Army, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shin Huang, the first Emperor of China. The Terracotta Army was part of an elaborate mausoleum, created to accompany the tomb of China’s first Emperor, (who was buried around 210–209 BCE) as an afterlife guards.
In 1974, the Terracotta Army was first discovered to the east of Xi’an by farmers digging a well. The site was named Pit One. More excavation in 1976 revealed two further pits. Interestingly, 8,000 life-sized clay soldiers discovered had unique facial expressions and positioned according to rank. Excavation also revealed: over 150 life-size cavalry horses, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 40,000 bronze weapons.
The soldiers were painted to look even more realistic and then covered with a lacquer finish. Most were dressed like the cavalry, while others, dressed like foot soldiers. The soldiers were in trench-like underground corridors, and some corridors had clay horses aligned four abreast with wooden chariots.
In 1979, the Museum in Xi’an, was constructed over the excavation site, and the Terracotta Army was open to the public. There are four main categories of figures in this museum: chariot warriors, infantrymen, cavalrymen, and horses. In 1987, The Terracotta Army was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular attractions in China.
Tours Available:   On
Recommended Visit: 4 Hours
Restrictions: G (General)
Attraction Type: Archaeological Sites, Culture, Heritage, Historical, Museums, Sightseeing, Tours