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The Terra Cotta Army
Transcript of The Terra Cotta Army
Each is delicately carved to the finest detail. Some are worn away, it's still an amazing feat, especially for the limited resources. Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi ordered for these warriors to be built so he would be just as powerful in the afterlife as he was in his reign. Religious practices in China at the time included believing in an afterlife, and Huangdi thought if he was buried gloriously, he would live gloriously in his afterlife.
The warriors symbolize Emperor Huangdi's army. He wanted to bring his power into the afterlife. So far, a few thousand warriors have been discovered, but there may be more, because excavation is still ongoing and there are still more areas of the temple to discover. There are also an estimated one hundred chariots, and six thousand more warriors to dig up.
The main tomb has not been excavated yet. Archaeologists are mostly unsure about its exact location. Did this emperor deserve an army of eight thousand stone warriors? Though he unified China into one empire and standardized a common written language, in order to build this tomb, 700,000 laborers slaved away building it for many years.
Archaeologists also predict that these statues were the first, or at least the oldest discovered, free-standing statues in art's entire history. The army was well preserved from being trapped underground, but most of the bright, vivid paint has worn off. Once they were discovered, experts had to quickly prevent them from falling apart. Currently, they are preserved by techniques including a special see-through glue that prevents the paint's decay. If you want to learn more, there are many resources. Quite a few T.V. documentaries have been done on the terra cotta army, and there also many articles about it, one of the best being this article from the Smithsonian Museum, found here:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/On-the-March-Terra-Cotta-Soldiers.html What I found most interesting was the fact that it was nearly destroyed. It would be horrible for it to have burned down; then we wouldn't get a chance to discover it today. Unfortunately at one point, these clay soldiers were nearly destroyed. During Emperor Huangdi's rule, he had to defend the tomb from a rebellion. The rebel leader who wanted to overthrow the emperor broke into the tomb where the warriors were not yet completed, set fire to one area, and stole weapons. Luckily, they weren't able to burn the whole thing. . http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3450/3707879921_6e488e9855.jpg http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/On-the-March-Terra-Cotta-Soldiers.html# http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3417/3195366462_cdab73e49f.jpg http://bbsimg.paipai.com/2007/10/08/000/788.jpg What the warriors are predicted to look like if the paint was fully restored: