The Terracotta Army –China’s masterpiece

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The Terracotta Army is a very popular collection of terracotta sculptures located in China. It is used to depict the armies the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. It is also known as a form of funeral art buried with the emperor.

Records of the Grand Historian asserts that it was Qin Shi Huang himself who ordered to construct his mausoleum. That was when he took the throne of the Qin State.

The purpose was that the emperor was apparently protected in his afterlife. In short, it is well understood here that the role of the Terracotta Army was to ‘guard’ the entire mausoleum.

Over seven hundred thousand labourers rolled up their sleeves day and night for thirty six years to build the Terracotta Army and the tomb complex. The Terracotta Army was specifically made by imperial craftsmen and folk craftsmen.

In order to mark their own masterpiece and to ensure its best quality, the pottery figurines were carved with their names. The technique originated from the Qin state during the middle of the Warring States Period.

However, these craftsmen faced a miserable end. The sudden death of Qin Shi Huang in 210 BC caused the immediate seal of the Terracotta Army’s construction. Those craftsmen who worked for the mausoleum were buried alive in the burial pits around the grave. This was carried out to keep the secrets of the Terracotta Army remain veiled.

Interesting facts about the Terracotta Army’s construction:

  • Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty.
  • Li Si was the prime minister of the Qin Dynasty.
  • The supervisor of this project was Zhang Han, Senior General of the Qin Army.
  • More than 700,000 laborers enrolled in its construction.
  • The project was maintained for 36 years but suddenly stopped with the sudden death of Qin Shi Huang.
  • the estimated number of Terracotta warriors is estimated to be around 8000.
  • The terracotta warrior is estimated to be worth US$4.5 million

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