on guard for 2200 years
the horses are there, the chariot needs repair. Flooding compacted the height of the earthen walls
the first rows are restored. Lighting conditions are difficult to capture the right color
waiting to be repaired and put back on duty
you can still see a glimpse of the original paint
the first overwhelming view when you enter the 230 meters long hall of Pit 1
most of the soldiers in pit 3 have lost their head, probably vandalized
Pit 3 is supposed to be the command center. Here they did find bronze weapons, still in excellent condition
the only things missing are the weapons, looted by Xiang Yu's hordes in 209 BC ?
The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang
left a huge necropolis, most of it, including his underground mausoleum
,still has to be
excavated. The Chinese know they have someting unique at hand and are carefull to not cause unrepairable damage.
The emperor'sTerracotta Army
, located 1.5 km east of his tomb was discovered in 1974 and comprises some 8000 clay warriors and scores
of horses, cariots, officials and even acrobats.
Parts of the trove are excavated in four pits. Pit one
is the largests and contains
the main body of the army. The other pits contain cavalry, guards and officers.
Fire damage and missing weapons point to
looting and destruction by fire, probably by Xiang Yu
, a fierce warlord in the final days of the Qin dynasty.
We first visited
the ancient soldiers in December 1997 and were instantly awe-stricken by the sight. Later visits in 2003 and 2004 only
strenghtened the feeling of being at a very special place, looking 2200 years back in history.
the road to the Terracotta Army in December 1997
In 2004 the place looks completely different
a nice view of the army's setup, vanguards upfront
a view from the back, large parts are not yet excavated
the horses in pit 3
the back of the hall is used for restoration, chip by chip like a 3-D puzzle