Splendour Beyond The Great Wall Of China – Part II

Asia | | August 7, 2009 at 6:04 pm


terracotta armyComing to China, one must pay a visit to the eighth wonder of the world, the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. Those keen in Chinese art and culture artefacts will definitely find it the most spectacular place to explore.

Fortuitously unearthed in March 1974 in a location nearly 31kms away from Xi’an by the farmer community of Xianyang village who were digging a well and suddenly came across wrecked ceramic figures.

After detailed excavation was initially uncovered an oblong shaped pit area full with buried terra cotta warriors and horses that belonged to the Qin Dynasty following which two other pits were unearthed that were located to the north of the first one, each of the two measuring 20 and 25 metres respectively.

The first pit is oblong shaped with five slanting access ways located to the east and west sides of it. Within the tunnel are ten earth slammed divider walls across which massive and strong beams lay swathe with pads, fine textured soil and filler earth with the floors covered with bricks. These ten slammed divider walls separate the first pit into eleven latitudinal channel ways that have thirty-eight lines of warriors with amour, donning long beam weaponry on horse ridden chariots at the core comprising the prime force. It is believed that there are in total twenty-seven trial trenches with a hypothesis of greater than six thousand terracotta warriors and horses mostly those of infantry may well be uncovered from the first pit.

terracotta army gdyniaIn the long passage located to the east of the first pit lie three rows of east facing 210 terra cotta warriors donning warrior outfits and armed with bows and arrows comprising the front line. A row of outside facing warriors carrying crossbows, arrows and several far-distance firing weaponry located in the south, north and west of the passage constitute the side and rear sentry.

The L-shaped, 6000square metres measuring second pit located north-east of the first pit comprises of four varied military forces arranged in four groups closely grouped to represent an absolute battle configuration which could separate and act as strong autonomous defenders. About thousand pottery items, five hundred horse ridden chariots and horses with saddles were discovered.

Almost three of the four groups found in the second pit constitute chariots and combatants who were the significant fighting strength in the Qin Dynasty and covered most part of the battle configuration. Though the wooden chariots have battered ravages of time, the bronze parts are still undamaged, with the tongues and wheels that have left a discernable impression in the clay.

xianterra cotta warriorsThe third pit located north to the first pit and west of the second pit has a concave plane with pottery models majorly different than those in the earlier two pits, with even the weaponry just a ‘shu’ was employed by the 68 terracotta warriors that were considered to be utilised by the guards of honour. Remnants of deer horns, animal skeletons point to the reasoning that several sacrificial contributions and war pleas were undertaken here. The third pit appeared to be the control centre guiding the entire army.

In a bid to preserve these extraordinary artefacts, tourists are banned from visiting the pits or touching the clay warriors.

These magnificent Terra Cotta Warriors have indeed roused the world like a waken reverie after countless years of slumber.

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