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History of Terracotta Army, China

The terracotta army refers to the thousands of models of life-size soil soldiers, horses and chariots that were deposited around the great mausoleum of Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor and founder of the Qin dynasty, located near Lishan in the central province of Shaanxi. China. The purpose of the army was to act as guardian figures of the tomb or serve its ruler in the next life. Workers digging a well outside the city of Xi’an, China, in 1974 met one of the greatest archeological discoveries in the world: a life-sized clay soldier prepared for battle.

They did not find one, but thousands of clay soldiers, each with unique facial expressions and positioned according to their rank. And although largely gray today, paint patches hint at once brightly colored clothes. Subsequent excavations have revealed swords, arrowheads and other weapons, many in perfect condition. The soldiers are in trenches, underground corridors. In some of the corridors, the clay horses are aligned four to the side; behind them are wooden cars. The terracotta army, as it is known, is part of an elaborate mausoleum created to accompany China’s first emperor to another life, according to archaeologists.

Shi Huangdi was desperate for immortality, and in the end, his terracotta army of more than 7,000 warriors, 600 horses and 100 cars has given him exactly that, at least in name and action. The site of the mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, even if the internal tomb has not yet been excavated. Shi Huangdi (also known as Shi Huangti) was the king of the Qin state, which unified China from 221 BC. C. and then founded the Qin dynasty. He ruled as the first emperor of China until his death in 210 BC. C. His reign was short but full of incidents, most of them infamous enough to win Shi Huangdi a lasting reputation as a megalomaniac despot. The period saw the construction of the Great Wall of China, the infamous Burning of the books, where thousands of literary and philosophical works were destroyed, and the construction of a sumptuous royal palace.

The emperor seems to have been especially interested in acquiring immortality, a search undoubtedly motivated by his survival from three assassination attempts. The scientists were given the task of discovering elixirs that prolonged life, and young emissaries were sent across the East Sea in search of the legendary Penglai, land of the immortals. Failing these efforts to prolong his life in an unnatural way, Shi Huangdi turned to the ancient resource of autocratic rulers and, instead, built a huge mausoleum. In fact, the entire massive project began in the early years of his reign, since it required a prodigious amount of work to prepare it.

An administrative district was established on the site with 30,000 families relocated there by force and assigned the task of building the largest tomb ever seen in the history of China or anyone else. Finally, without a doubt, when Huangdi realized that time was running out, hundreds of thousands of forced workers were sent to push the project to completion. One way or another, Shi Huangdi would be remembered long after his reign.

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