Terracotta Army (China): what to see


Where is the Chinese terracotta army, what to see and curiosities regarding the history and legend relating to this imperial realization, including the mausoleum of the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi.

Where is it

Near Xi'an, a city located in the Chinese province of Shaanxi, there is the important archaeological complex formed by the mausoleum of the emperor Qin Shi Huang and the famous terracotta army of the emperor Qin Shi Huang who, after bringing together the various states of China in one empire, he wanted to recreate a palace and an army that would defend him in the afterlife, able to inspire submission and respect even after his death.

Workers from every province of the empire participated in the construction of this site, which recalls the urban plan of the ancient capital.

Things to see

An army made up of thousands of terracotta statues, depicting the soldiers of the imperial army, reproduced in full size with different somatic features, different in clothing and armament.

For reasons of stability, the structure of the statues is full to the waist and empty in the trunk, the heads were first modeled and cooked separately, then placed in their place.

There are archers, officers and warriors, above the chariots pulled by four horses each, all ready for battle.

A discovery that happened by chance in 1974, when some farmers in order to build a well, dug into the ground and came across this extraordinary underground reality, which came out after careful archaeological excavations.


The mausoleum is located under an earth pyramid and has not yet been unearthed.

At a distance of about one and a half kilometers from this hill, three large pits were excavated, where the statues of the soldiers were found, lined up in corridors that were originally covered by wooden roofs.

The estimated number of soldiers is around 6000, in addition to hundreds of horses and chariots, of which only a part have been restored.

It seems that after the death of Qin Shi Huang, those who had participated in the construction of this great underground city, in order not to risk revealing its secrets, were walled in together with the emperor's concubines and, to protect the treasures preserved inside , weapons capable of automatically engaging were inserted.

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The Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, which also includes the terracotta army, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Terracotta Army: The greatest archaeological find of the 20th century - BBC News (September 2022)

Tags: China