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Terra Cotta Warriors

The First Emperor - Qin Shihuang  (259-210 B.C.E.) conquered much in this life, but his driving purpose was even greater; he sought to conquer death. In order to achieve immortality, he built himself a tomb?a vast underground city guarded by a life-size terracotta army including warriors, infantrymen, horses, chariots and all their attendant armor and weaponry.The underground terracotta army found in the First Emperor?s burial complex is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable and mysterious discoveries from the ancient world. A sprawling citadel has been unearthed, complete with gardens and stables, bronze ritual vessels, jade jewelry, and a wealth of gold and silver ornaments.

Besides revealing much about an ancient way of life, observing the physical construction of the underground complex and the methodical production of the figures reveals a set of themes from which we gain a window of insight to the First Emperor?s worldview and enduring influence.

One of the most extraordinary features of the terracotta warriors is that each appears to have distinct features?an incredible feat of craftsmanship and production. Despite the custom construction of these figures, studies of their proportions reveal that their frames were created using an assembly production system that paved the way for advances in mass production and commerce.

Archaeologists estimate that the objects, including figures, horses, and weapons, number in the thousands, though the true total may never be known.