Imperial China - The Terra Cotta Warriors of Qin Shi
The tomb of China's first Emperor has been known for some time but it has not been excavated because the officials are not
sure of how to do it. Historical sources indicate the tomb portrays a miniature plan of the empire with the floor cut by rivers
and a lake of mercury beneath a ceiling studded with pearls to represent the night sky. The Emperor's concubines were buried
tests in the area rarify the presence of toxic chemicals. It was a surprise, however, when two peasants were digging a
well in 1974 they came upon the terra cotta army.
The terra cotta army, containing over 7,000 life size soldiers, archers, calvary and horses were made to guard the tomb of Qin Shi,
a despotic ruler who unified China over 2,200 years ago. Each warrior, originally colored and holding a sward, spear, or bows
and arrows, has an
individually crafted expression - maybe taken from the 700,000 peasants who were put to work over 36 years to build the
tomb. When the tomb was completed the workers were also all put to death to prevent the location and design of the tomb from
After Qin Shi died his heir continued his despotic practices and the peasants revolted. A revolution needs weapons
and someone knew about the buried warriors. The tombs were broken into and the weapons stolen. Some clay figures were knocked
over and broken. The earthen roof to the army was supported by wooden poles which where set on fire and as they burned the
roof collapsed causing more damage. Naturally the revolution was not successful but everyone forgot about the warriors until
they were re discovered over 2,000 years later.