Friday, October 30, 2009

The Subterranean Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

(Postcard shown : No.1 Pit of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses)
Since excavation started in 1974, three pits of terracotta warriors and horses have been uncovered, constituting an important part of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. In the first pit one can see the main formation of chariots and infantry ; in the second pit is a curved formation of chariots, cavalry and archers; and in the third pit one sees the commanders of the formations. The integrally connected pits contain a large assortment of real bronze weapons. The excavation of the pits shows the world the classical oriental art of sculpture of 2,000 years ago. The life sized terracotta warriors and horses are extremely realistic and dramatic, and are on UNESCO's protection list.

On June 13, 2009, on the fourth China national Cultural Heritage Day and 24 years after the second excavation, the third excavation of terracotta Pit 1 was started.

The terracotta Pit 1 has been excavated twice. The first excavation occurred between 1978 and 1984 when 1,787 pieces of terracotta warriors were unearthed. The second excavation was in 1985 but was stopped in the same year because the equipment and technology at that time could not protect the precious cultural relics. Those two previous excavations only cover one third of the total area in Pit 1.

There was 6 surprises for the world in this third excavation.

(Postcard shown : A section of Pit No.3)

The First Surprise – Two four-horse chariots in close proximity
In the passageway No.G9, archaeologists surprisingly discovered two adjacent war chariots at the front and back. These "closely united" chariots are the first time to be discovered in the history of archaeology in terracotta warriors, because the other chariots discovered before all had rows of terracotta warriors stand between every two chariots.

The Second Surprise – Half of the face of a terracotta warrior retains its original paint
On the broken pieces of terracotta warriors buried in passageway No.G9, experts found colored paint. One body of a terracotta warrior is partly covered with brown paintwork and has red paintings on the arm. In the passageway No.G10, a terracotta warrior is preserved in near perfect condition with a clear hair bun and handlebar moustache. It is astonishing that half of his face is left with a large area of paint.

(Postcard shown : Bronze carts and horses)

The Third Surprise – A four inch bronze arrow head is found still sharp, although it has been buried for over 2,000 years. An expert explains that it was used by soldiers during the Qin Dynasty (221BC – 206BC). The discovery of this arrow head is an indication that more weapons may be excavated in the future in this area.

The Fourth Surprise – A big wooden ring is painted in red and green. It has a diameter of 60 cm (24 inches). The colors on it remain bright. After reinforced in the field, the experts brought it back to the laboratory for further preservation and restoration.

(Postcard shown : Pottery warriors being unearthed from Vault 1)

The Fifth Surprise – Over 150 terracotta warriors, two horse chariots and eight terracotta horses will be unearthed in trial trench T23. Moreover, the lacquer work, colored drawing and organic substances will be well preserved during this excavation.

(Postcard shown : Pit No.1 of Qin Shi Huang's Terracotta Warriors & Horses)

The Sixth Surprise – For the next few years, visitors will be able to see the excavation process while visiting the Pit 1. They will be able to witness the appearance of various cultural relics when unearthed

(Source : TravelChinaGuide)

The above 2 photos was taken during my May trip to Silk Road.
Stunning !!!
Visit to Marie Reed for more Postcard Friendship Friday's player.


Aimee said...

Incredible! My son just studied Qin's Dynasty in History. He and I both enjoyed your post today! He said, "Wow, That is amazing!"

Postcardy said...

It must be an amazing sight to see in person.

Anonymous said...

Wow doesn't even begin to describe this.

BeachILike said...

WoooWWW and Big Woooow! This is one place I want to visit, so nice.

both Happy Skywatch & Postcard Friendship Friday!

My Bangkok Through My Eyes!
You got a Posty: I want to give 15 postcards :)

Life Goes On said...

Wow is right, unbelievable sight

fortuitous faery said...

wow! i wish i can travel the silk road too, and see these actual terra cotta warriors. i've only seen the small-scale models at epcot's china pavilion.

Bob of Holland said...

Definitely stunning. This site is a must to visit from now on. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it -

MrCachet said...

I remember the National Geographic article about the warriors but I don't remember the year - a long time ago I know that. It is nice that you were able to follow Marie's theme!

Sheila said...

What a really wonderful set of postcards you have, to bring back wonderful memories.

Snap said...

Wonderful series and how exciting that you were actually there!