Brief information on Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is located in the satellite tombs to the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang. It is 15 kilometers east of the main mausoleum. The site was discovered in March 1974 when farmers found many broken pottery figures while sinking a well in Xianyang village. Archaeological excavation and historical research revealed it was an oblong pit in which the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty was buried. In 1976, another two pits were discovered to the north of the original. They were numbered Pit 1, 2 and 3 respectively by order of discovery. The three pits cover a total area of 22780 square meters.
The Qin Terracotta Army Museum was set up to provide the artifacts with adequate protection in 1975, and it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.
Pit 1 occupies an area of 14,260 square meters and is oblong in shape. It is estimated that more than 6,000 Terracotta Army soldiers were situated here, most of them infantrymen. The soldiers are arrayed in a practical battle formation.
Pit 1 is divided into 11 latitudinal corridors by ten earth-rammed partition walls. 38 columns of warriors stand here, with horse-drawn chariots in the center. These were probably the main body of the formation, representing the principal fighting force of the army. At the east end of the pit, there are also three rows of Terra-Cotta Warriors, facing east, 70 in each row, totaling 210 altogether. Armed with bows and arrows, they constitute the vanguard of the army. There are also single rows of warriors to the south, north and west of the main body, facing outward. These are probably the flanks and the rear guard. Holding crossbows, arrows and other long-distance shooting weapons, they were the main defense of the whole battle formation.
Pit 2 is 20 meters to the north of the eastern end of Pit 1. The pit covers an area of 6,000 square meters. The pit is L-shaped and consists of four different mixed military forces in four arrays. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 pieces of pottery figures, and 500 horse-drawn chariots and saddled horses. The four battle arrays are closely connected to constitute a complete formation and can be divided easily to act independently, capable of both self-protection and rapid response to attack. The chariots occupy most of the battle formation. Charioteers were discovered in three of the four arrays of Pit 2. There are clear traces in the clay of the tracks the shafts and wheels had left. Many bronze parts of chariots were also discovered. This provided evidence that charioteers were the principal fighting force of Qin Dynasty.
Pit 3 is located 25 meters to the north of Pit 1 and to the west of Pit 2. It is of concave shape and totals about 520 square meters. From this pit, one chariot, four terra-cotta horses and 68 warriors were unearthed. The arrangement of the pottery figurines and the weapons held by the warriors are quite different from those in Pit 1 and 2. The warriors stand opposite each other along the walls. In Pit 3 only one kind of weapon was discovered, the "shu", which has no blades and is believed to have been used by the guards of honor of the emporer. Archaeologists also found deer-horn and animal bones in this pit. It is thought that this was the place where sacrificial offerings were made and war prayers were chanted. Judging by the layout of Pit 3, it is most likely the headquarters which directed the mighty underground army.
The Terracotta Army are not only life-sized, but made painstakingly utilizing the high technology of the time. The warriors were master-crafted, all uniquely different in appearance and facial expressions. The figures were originally colorful when constructed but the original colors have been dulled and removed with the passage of time. Today we can only see tr
*You can download the bilingual note to show it to a taxi driver or someone else to find your way to Terracotta Army if you plan to visit Terracotta Army and have language problems.
Chinese Pinyin: Qin Bing Ma Yong
Opening Times: 08:30-17:30
Ticket Price: CNY 90 in peak season, CNY 65 in dull season
Transportation: take bus No. 306
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Xian is a city full of history. It was called Chang’an in the past, meaning “perpetual peace”, and it carried out this promise of stability by being home to 13 dynasties. The first of these dynasties produced the Terracotta Warriors, which rise proud
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