Museum of the Terracotta Warriors
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 102 of 136 › view all entries
The Terracotta Warriors and Horse Museum is located just outside of Xi'an to the northeast near the town of Lintong. We got up and took a bus out directly out to the site about mid-morning. The place was already packed and it was another absolutely gorgeous sunny day in central China. The bus deserts you at a parking lot where you can either walk the 1/2 mile or so to the entrance or take a small tram ride (there was a cost involved but since I didn't take it can't say what it was).
The first thing I view approaching the main area of the Terracotta Warriors is the large building housing Pit 1. This building is around the size of 2 football fields.
A bit of history - Emperor Qin Shi Huang was the ruler of an early Chinese Dynasty (Qin) in the mid 200's BCE. He united many of the disparate tribes of China and is generally regarded as the first imperial ruler.
Walking further back from the front of Pit 1 (which contains mostly infanty and a small number of horses), many of the sections are still covered or have been recovered to protect the ruins from oxidation.
Leaving from the back of Pit 1, we walk into the second building (which in this case is Pit 3). Pit 3 is much smaller than Pit 1 as it contains the command center of the Terracotta Army. In this pit are more chariots, officers, and generals of the Terracotta Army. While some small amount of reconstruction has been done here, by far the majority of the pit remains in an unexcavated state.
In addition to the Terracotta Army, Emperor Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum, an intricate palace the size of 6 football fields, lies mainly unexcavated. The chariots seen in my photos are one of the few objects to be excavated from this area (they were found on the outside of the main area of the mausoleum though). But for many reasons there has been little other excavation of the site of the mausoleum to date. Archaelogists are still not sure whether other pits might house still more wonders to be discovered.
Inside each of the buildings housing the individual pits is a treasure trove of additional information regarding the warriors and the Qin time period which did not long outlast its namesake. While Emperor Qin Shi Huang died in 210 BCE and a son was placed on the throne, the Qin dynasy ended only four years later in 206 BCE.
All in all the presentation is well done here. It was definitely a highlight of this segment of the trip through China.