Japan in Focus
By Georgia Shipley
24 October 2019
With the Japanese Rugby World Cup and Joanna Lumley bursting onto our television screens recently, we’ve been lapping up all things Japan.Read more
Located close to the burial mound of Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, is the Terracotta Army (or Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses). Created during the Emperor's reign and buried with him in 210-209 BC, the army of over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 120 cavalry horses, were only discovered in 1974 by local farmers - entirely by chance.
The full extent of the Mausoleum to Qin and the Terracotta Army is not yet known, although historians from a time shortly after the Emperor's death record as many as 700,000 workers being involved in the construction.
The Terracotta Army figures were made by local craftsmen and hired labourers in specially designated workshops. Each soldier's torso, head, legs and arms were made separately and then assembled. Facial features were added and facial characteristics changed to create entirely unique warriors, despite the fact that only eight face moulds were used.
Once completed, the figures were placed into specially dug pits, lined up in order of rank and duty. Most of the figures held real weapons including swords, spears and crossbows. The figures were brightly painted to create a realistic appearance - although the paintwork has faded or peeled and many of the original weapons looted shortly after the mausoleum was completed.