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Meaning Of Terra Cotta Warriors

Meaning Of Terra Cotta Warriors

The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses” is one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world .It is actually a collection of more than 8,000 terracotta sculptures representing the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a kind of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to accompany the tomb to protect and safeguard the emperor in his afterlife. They were molded in parts, fired, then assembled and painted.

I was back in 1974 that some local farmers of  Lintong District, Xi’an, and Shaanxi province , discovered these sculptures .The figures are different in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. These sculptures also include warriors, chariots and horses.

Terra Cotta Warriorsterra cotta warriors

According to the Current estimates, there are three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers with 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses.

The majority of these sculptures are still buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang’s tomb.

Other type of terracotta non-military figures was also found in other pits including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians


Why and How Were the Terra Cotta Warriors Made?


An afterlife Army for First Emperor Qin Shi Huang

The Terra Cotta Army was created to safeguard and serve First Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.He wanted to have the same military power and imperial status in the afterlife as he had enjoyed during his earthly lifetime

A show of first Emperor Qin’s glory

It was built to remember the army he led to triumph over the other varying states and unite China.

Substitutes for actual human Sacrifices

Early rulers from the Shang and Zhou dynasties had soldiers , officials and other attendants buried along with the dead emperor. The terra cotta figures were produced to replace actual human sacrifices


These warriors and horses all were built without advanced tools but by hand.

More than 700,000 artisans and labourers constructed the Terracotta Army and Tomb complex.Hollow torso , solid head , arms and legs were created separately and then assembled.

The army took an estimated 40 years to complete.

Each warrior was stamped with the name of the foreman responsible for its creation , in order to track any mistakes.

The History of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Army

    • 246 BC : Construction Began

The TerraCotta Army’s Construction began as a protection for the tomb of china’s first emperor ,Qin Shi Huang

    • 210 BC :Emperor Qin Shi Huang died
    • 206 BC :Construction was completed

Over 720,000 builders worked for approximately 40 years to complete.

terra cotta warriors
Terra cotta warriors
    • 1974 : The Terracotta Army first discovered

It was first discovered by the local farmers of Xi’an.

    • 1976 : More Pits discovered

Two more pits were revealed.

    • 1979 : Opened to the Public

A museum complex was constructed over the excavation site and terra cotta was opened for general public.


    • 1987 : Listed as UNESCO world Heritage Site

UNESCO stated the tomb of the First Emperor as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

  • 2011 : Three Auxiliary museums opened

How a Terra Cotta Warrior is made?

  1. Collect the clay
  2. Constructing the parts separately like head , torso ,short tunic ,legs and hands
  3. Then Carving of these parts is done
  4. After carving , Baking /drying of parts in a furnace is done.
  5. When dried , parts are put together.
  6. Finally the whole sculpture is painted.
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