An Ancient Army at Terracotta Army Museum in China

in China

On your trip to China you must allow time to see the terracotta warriors and horses, which are regarded by many historians as the most significant archaeological discovery of the last century.

You’ll find them at the Terracotta Army Museum in Lintong, Xi’an in the Shaanxi Province. It lies 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum. This ruler, known as China’s first emperor, commissioned the creation of this model army during his reign from 211 to 206 BC.

The life-sized figures, carved from terracotta and poised for battle, are the museum’s star attractions. Each is completely unique, with his own facial expression, hairstyle, clothes, and gestures. Many of the figures are armed with weapons of the time, including bronze swords, longbows, dagger-axes, and spears. They are arranged in faithful battle formation, recreating a real army designed to protect the emperor in the afterlife.

The Chinese Terracotta Warriors

The Chinese Terracotta Warriors

The museum is divided into three sections or pits, which are numbered in order of their discoveries. The first pit, the largest, was opened in 1979, five years after the incredible unearthing. It houses rows of soldiers at the front, numbering around 6000, followed by impressive war chariots. The second pit was unveiled in 1994. It is home to more than a thousand warriors and almost 100 wooden chariots discovered in 1976. The third pit features the discoveries of 1976. Here you’ll see more than 7000 pottery armed soldiers, horses, and chariots carefully restored to their former glory. This large section was opened in 1989. As work is ongoing at the original site, we can only hope more treasures will be added to the collection in the years to come.

The Terracotta Army Museum is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. Tourists should allow three hours to see the museum’s attractions. Getting to the museum is easy. Trains run from all major tourist centers to Xian Railway Station. Once there, visitors can take the #914 bus or tourist bus 5 directly to the museum.

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