Week 47: Three of a Kind

Three soldiers of the Terracotta Army are but a fraction of the collection of terracotta  sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, and after whom China is named. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers near Xi’an, Shaanxi province, where we were in early June. They unearthed a head of one of the terracotta soldiers as they dug a water well. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, and horses. Estimates are that the three pits contain more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remain buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huan’s mausoleum. Each of the thousands of soldiers is unique in its facial features, but these three are three of a kind nonetheless.

Three of a Kind.jpg



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