Terra Cotta Warriors - Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World

Santa Ana Travel Blog

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Statue outside the exhibit hall

For those unfamiliar with the Terra Cotta Warriors, they are considered the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century.  Located in China, this is the army of warriors built prior to Emperor, Qin Shi Huang's death to help protect him in the afterlife.  The warriors were found purely by accident in the mid 1970's and this is the first time China has allowed them to be shown elsewhere in the world - Bowers has the largest exhibit of his army ever seen outside of China!

The exhibit opened in May 2008 and is scheduled to close on October 16, 2008.  My Mom had really been wanting to see the exhibit but due to the extreme pain she was in and her hip surgery in August, we were not sure she was going to make it before the exhibit closed.

My forbidden Terra Cotta Warrior pic!
  Overall, she's doing better and able to walk much better than she ever did prior to the surgery so we decided to go and see them, since my parents will never travel to China to see the on site museum and excavation progress. 

Some of the tours were already sold out for today and they have them scheduled hour by hour.  I already knew from Melanie's visit to the museum in August that no cameras were allowed inside the exhibit which was a bummer.  I decided to bring mine anyways, just in case and I am glad I did.  :D

We arrived just in time for the 3pm tour, which is a self guided audio tour.  I saw the no photography sign in the exhibit itself but nothing said no photography outside so I tried to be slick.

Me with the statue outside the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit
  Stood back in the center of the museum where you buy tickets and tried to zoom in to the exhibit hall where there was a large warrior and the horses visible.  First couple shots were blurry and people walking in front of them but finally, a break!  The security guy had just passed so the coast was clear..or so I thought! LOL  Just as I was about to snap the perfect shot, I got a tap on my shoulder that no photos were allowed, even from back there.  DRAT!  Oh well, he didn't make me delete it so I have one somewhat dark and fuzzy shot of the entrance to the exhibit! LOL.

The exhibit showcases the first Emporer of China's obsession with the afterlife and a 38 year mission of having this army built.  He was born in 259 B.

Me with the Terra Cotta Warrior (doubt this one is real!)
C. and began his rule at a tender age of only 13.  For those next 38 years, he assigned over 700,000 workers to build this enormous masoleum with the life size terra cotta warriors to protect him in the afterlife.  These warriors remained hidden to the world until 1974, when a Chinese farmer accidentally stumbled upon a terra cotta head while digging a well!  Archeologists believe it will take centuries to completely excavate this area and rebuild the warriors piece by piece.  Many of them were crushed by the ground and have been painstakenly put together piece by piece.   You cannot truly appreciate it until you see them up close and personal.  The attention to detail on these figures, including the lines in the hair, laces, etc is exact as to what the real army wore.
Another view
  Emporer Qin was a great man although not someone I would've wanted to serve under.  He managed to unite China from the warring states and build the great wall, but he also was noted for being insanely cruel, from burying over 400 workers alive once to killing his entire staff of almost 300 due to a belief that someone on staff was a spy. 

After finishing the Terra Cotta Warriors, I figured we might as well use the time to see the other permanent exhibits in Bowers.  They had a Meso America hall, an early California hall, and one on the Ancient Arts of China.  Lastly, there was a traveling exhibit on the 200 year tradition of American Quilts.  I learned after all my picture taking that no photos are allowed anywhere in Bowers, not just the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit so enjoy - I might as well post all the photos I took since they didn't make me delete them! LOL. 

*I will be  updating the history and background information for all the exhibits, including the Terra Cotta Warriors, but wanted to at least get the pics up now*

poohstanggt says:
Yeah I know silly goose! We were going to check it out but they closed before we got done! LOL. I still have to write the review on the museum and the warriors themselves. We need to go to China to see them for sure!!

And James...you are hilarious - You are right though!! :D
Posted on: Oct 09, 2008
mellemel8 says:
i was here in july. however, i did a review on the cafe not the bowers musuem HAHAHA only me :)

glad you enjoyed it :)
Posted on: Oct 09, 2008
pearcetoyou says:
TC Warriors have nothing on the TB Warriors!!!

;)
Posted on: Oct 09, 2008
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Statue outside the exhibit hall
Statue outside the exhibit hall
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