Sometimes some archaeological discoveries seriously change the course of history. That is why historians are so sensitive to this kind of discoveries. Today we will tell you about the Terracotta Army.
China's terracotta army
In the 70s of the 20th century, during the archaeological excavations in China, the clay Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang was found. This discovery immediately became a worldwide sensation, so it was not for nothing that some dubbed it the 8th wonder of the world.
Today, the Terracotta Army is one of the main attractions of China, along with the Great Wall of China.
We bring to your attention interesting facts about this extraordinary ancient burial.
The army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
In 1974, near the city of Xi'an, a terracotta army made of clay was discovered. It was located next to the tomb of the emperor, and according to the beliefs of the ancient Chinese, was to protect him in the afterlife.
Interestingly, the Terracotta Army consisted of about 8100 clay warriors and horses, made in full size. In addition to the terracotta sculptures, tens of thousands of different bronze weapons were also found.Stroy terracotta foot soldiers
The clay army was buried along with Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210 BC. er In addition to these figures, archaeologists found the remains of 70 thousand workers and their families, as well as the bodies of 48 emperor's concubines.
The examination showed that all these people were buried alive in the grave. Most likely, this was done in order to hide the secret of manufacturing this army.
The terracotta statues were buried along with the first emperor of the Qin dynasty - Qin Shi Huang (united China and connected all the links of the Great Wall) in 210–209 BC. er
Sima Qian (hereditary historian of the Han dynasty) reports that a year after he ascended the throne in 246 BC. er 13-year-old Ying Zheng (future Qin Shi Huang) began to build his own tomb.
According to his plan, the statues were to accompany him after his death, and, probably, give him the opportunity to satisfy his power ambitions in the other world, just as he did during his lifetime.
The construction of the mausoleum required the efforts of more than 700 thousand workers and artisans and lasted 38 years. The perimeter of the external burial wall is 6 km.
Although instead of living warriors, contrary to tradition, along with the emperor, their clay copies were buried, according to various estimates, up to 70 thousand workers were buried along with their families.
The statues were discovered in March 1974 by local peasants while drilling an artesian well east of Lishan Mountain.
Lishan Mountain is the man-made necropolis of the first emperor Qin. Material for a part of the statues was taken exactly from this mountain.
The first stage of the excavation took place from 1978 to 1984. The second is from 1985 to 1986.
Figures extracted from the excavation and collected in parts
June 13, 2009 began the third stage of excavation. The army of clay warriors rests in a battle formation in parallel crypts 1.5 km east of the tomb of the emperor.
All these crypts were found at a depth of 4 to 8 m. It is also striking that all the statues are unique, that is, each figure has its own shape, equipment and face. These soldiers include private soldiers, archers, cavalrymen and commanders-in-chief.
In relative proximity to the burial site, archaeologists discovered statues of musicians, acrobats and statesmen.
Specialists from China found that part of the figures, as well as horses and chariots, were made of clay. But with the other warriors, the situation is much more complicated. It is still not known where they were brought from. Each human statue weighs about 130 kg.
Scientists and today puzzled over how these statues were made. It is definitely clear that initially one or another form indulged in the figures, and then they were fired. But how?
The fact is that nearby archaeologists have not found a single kiln. And this is not surprising, because at that time people did not yet possess such highly developed technologies necessary for the manufacture of such sculptures. In addition, each statue is covered with a special glaze and painted with paint.
Unbelievable, but it is a fact
There is another, no less interesting mystery: why for more than 2000 years the weapon not only did not fade, but did not even blunt? Examination has shown that chromium is contained in all metal objects.Notice how different the faces of these two soldiers are. Each statue is unique.
But how could he be there, if they learned to make it only at the beginning of the 20th century? Did the ancient Chinese have such high technology? But all units of military weapons, made at the highest level.
One of the most striking finds related to the terracotta army are 2 bronze chariots found near the mausoleum.
They are harnessed by four beautiful horses, which, obviously, were intended for the emperor's horse rides in the other world.
Each of these carts is made of more than 3000 items, which individually represent true works of art. On chariots you can see pictures of the Phoenix bird, dragon and tiger.
In addition to bronze, some parts are made of silver and gold. Among all the artifacts found in China in the entire history, these carts are the most magnificent.
In a short time, after the death of the emperor, a fire broke out in the tomb, as a result of which it was plundered. According to ancient chronicles, it contained a large amount of jewelry, coins and other valuables.
A number of historians believe that this tomb was just a fiction, and the original burial place of Qin Shi Huang was not found yet. The very same terracotta army, subsequently covered with soil.
In general, the Terracotta Army may well be considered the 8th wonder of the world. That only is the number of artifacts found, not to mention how jewelery they are executed exactly.
Pay attention to these photos:Terracotta warriors were once painted. Today, only a few statues contain a small amount of paint. Pay attention to the details of the soles of the warrior. Terracotta soldier with horse
Popularity and Value
In 1987, at the 11th session of UNESCO, the terracotta army was inscribed on the World Heritage List as part of the "tomb of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty" complex.
The complex of the tomb of Qin Shi Huang was the first of the Chinese objects included in this list. A visit to the terracotta army is often included in the program of the stay of foreign heads of state in China.
In 1984, the exhibition was examined by US President Ronald Reagan and his wife. He regarded this historical monument as "a great miracle belonging to humanity."
In 1986, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain visited there with Prince Philip. In 1998, the monument was visited by US President Bill Clinton with his family, and in 2004 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Terracotta Army Today
The excavations of the Terracotta Army have not been fully stopped until now, since the Chinese authorities are doing everything possible to identify and preserve the heritage of their ancestors. However, at the official level, excavations are not carried out now.
The reason for the suspension of archaeological research is that, according to legend, in the afterlife the emperor should be accompanied by rivers of mercury.
Just in case, the scientists decided to check this version, so as not to run into trouble. It may well be that there are still many interesting and striking artifacts underground. Therefore, even more new and surprising discoveries can be ahead of us.