|Inside the Terra Cotta Army pit in Shaanxi Province|
photo by Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada
Do you have a bucket list? Most people have a list of things they’d like to do or places they’d like to visit before they die. Tops on my list is traveling to China to view the Terra Cotta Warriors. I’ve been fascinated by them ever since I learned of their discovery.
|photo by scott1346|
Most people are familiar with the Egyptian pyramids, but fewer people know about the Terra Cotta Warriors. Like the pyramids, the sculptures of the warriors, along with their horses and chariots and various non-military figures, were buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, in the late third century BCE to protect him in the afterlife. Local farmers discovered the burial site in 1974 in Shaanxi Province not far from the emperor’s mausoleum.
Unlike the pyramids, though, the numbers of life-size terra cotta statues unearthed at the site is staggering, the intact warriors alone number more than 8,000, along with nearly 700 horses and 130 chariots. Most remain buried in the pits near the emperor’s mausoleum.
|photo by Cangminzho|
The warriors’ heights range between 5’11” and 6’7”, each with individual faces, although it’s been estimated that ten different molds were used to create all of them. The sculptures were originally painted in bright colors, but much of the coloring has either faded or flaked off.
Since the pictures alone don’t do justice to the massive site, check out this short four-minute BBC video.
|photo by Peretz Partensky|
However although visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors is tops on my bucket list, you’ll notice that I also included “transporter beams” in the title of this blog post. That’s because much as I really want to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors site in person, the thought of such a long plane ride absolutely freaks me out. So I’m hoping we develop transporter technology sometime soon, and I can beam on over to Shaanxi Province instead of sitting in a coach seat on a plane for at least fifteen hours.
Beam me over, Scotty!