China plans to reveal more terra cotta warriors China's Qin Terra-Cotta warriors, made using local clay (AP photos)
China plans to reveal more terra cotta warriors
Lexile

China is expanding the ranks of the famed Terra Cotta Warrior army with new excavations expected to yield hundreds more of the ancient life-size figures.

The museum overseeing the vast mausoleum of China's first emperor says it began work March 30 on the tomb's No. 2 pit. It is smaller in scale but believed to be richer in archaeological value than the already excavated No. 1 pit.

Along with 1,400 warrior and horse statues, the pit is believed to contain 89 war chariots and 116 mounted soldiers. They offer invaluable insights into the military culture of the Qin dynasty, the museum said in a statement on its website.

"The No. 2 pit contains the true essence of the Terra Cotta army," the museum's former curator was quoted as saying.

Discovered in 1974, the army is one of China's biggest tourist draws. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In recent years, the warriors have joined the giant panda as a tool of Chinese "soft power," with several batches being exhibited overseas to enthusiastic crowds.

The army was built to guard the tomb of the first Qin emperor, Qin Shi Huang. He died in 210 A.D. after conquering much of what is now modern China.

In all, the tomb's three pits are thought to hold more than 8,000 figures. They include archers, infantry soldiers, mounted cavalry, horse-drawn chariots, officers, acrobats, musicians and others.

The third pit is adjacent to the emperor's sprawling mausoleum. It lies under a 250-foot mound and remains un-excavated as experts debate the pros and cons of doing so.

Ancient accounts tell of a huge complex of chambers, including underground rivers filled with flowing mercury. There are also the remains of craftsmen and imperial concubines sealed alive in the tomb with the dead emperor.

The Terra Cotta statues weigh about 400 pounds each. They range in height from 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches depending on rank. Generals are the tallest.

Originally brightly painted, they are intricately detailed with armor, top knots, weapons and boots. No two figures are alike. Craftsmen are believed to have modeled them after a real army.

A ruthless figure of fear and awe in Chinese history, Qin built an extensive system of roads and canals along with an early incarnation of the Great Wall of China. He unified measurements and established a single written language, currency and legal statutes.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is the army made of terra cotta?

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COMMENTS (18)
  • nylienc-Koc
    5/18/2015 - 09:59 a.m.

    It would be great if they did give us more information about the history of their country and we definitely want more things we want to study.

  • danielv-Goo
    5/18/2015 - 11:19 a.m.

    This Chinese army dated back 210 A.D. was found and it is made out of Terra Cotta. The text states "Discovered in 1974, the army is one of China's biggest tourist draws. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. " The text also states "The Terra Cotta statues weigh about 400 pounds each. They range in height from 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches depending on rank. Generals are the tallest." Not only that it is amusing to see an army this old and cool, but each old Terra Cotta weighs over 400 pounds.

  • jaceydanks12
    5/18/2015 - 12:50 p.m.

    China has finally decided to bring history back to life by using these Terra Cotta warriors. Digging up tombs has helped them recreate some of these soldiers from the ancient times of battle. The Chinese craftsmen are creating the horse-drawn chariots and the battle lines with the generals riding horses. Many of the craftsmen decided to design the very old fashion kind of battle with the Chinese riding Great Pandas. The Pandas are called the "soft power" in the battles. Also 116 f the Terra Cotta are professionally on a chariot with shields and spears. The craftsmen made 1400 of these soldiers and they each weigh 400lbs.

  • conner.mills50
    5/18/2015 - 01:13 p.m.

    I find it amazing that they are trying to find more Terra Cotta warriors. I have found that there are about 6,000 Terra Cotta warriors that have been found.

  • fernandoc-Che
    5/18/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    I don't know why they would even hide Terra Cotta Warriors, maybe its some type of religious reason or something like that. But I think that the Terra Cotta Warriors are pretty cool.

  • brandonj-Koc
    5/18/2015 - 02:22 p.m.

    China has many modern marvels of their history which is shown through the display of ancient relics most of these have been preserved fairly well throughout history and the Chinese take great pride in preserving these artifacts for future generations to see.

  • andres-Koc
    5/18/2015 - 09:31 p.m.

    I find this very interesting because it just shows you how amazing people were back then. They created these, kind of, life-like statues to show the world or anybody that sees them how incredible they were. It also shows how their armies looked and the specific roles there were back then. They are Generals, Archers, and even Infantry Soldier that a show cases in their own unique Terra cotta slab. It just fascinates me how much effort must have gone into making each one.

  • bradant-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 08:43 a.m.

    The army made of Terra cotta. The Terra Cotta statues weigh about 400 pounds each. They range in height from 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches depending on rank. Generals are the tallest. Ancient accounts tell of a huge complex of chambers, including underground rivers filled with flowing mercury. There are also the remains of craftsmen and imperial concubines sealed alive in the tomb with the dead emperor.

  • nathang-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 09:40 a.m.

    The army is made of Terra Cotta. The text states that the army was built to guard the tomb of the first Qin emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The text also states craftsmen are believed to have modeled them after a real army. The evidence from the text shows why the army was made out of Terra Cotta.

  • garyt-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 10:53 a.m.

    This Chinese army is made out of Terra Cotta. In the text, "Discovered in 1974, the army is one of China's biggest tourist draws. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. " Also, "The Terra Cotta statues weigh about 400 pounds each. They range in height from 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches depending on rank. Generals are the tallest." The evidence supports that the Chinese army is made out of Terra Cotta

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