Unearth the History of How 7,000 Terracotta Warriors “Immortalized” an Emperor

Terracotta Warriors

Photo: Stock Photos from Lukas Hlavac/Shutterstock

Art history is full of treasures that have yet been uncovered. Even after thousands of years, we continue to find remnants of past civilizations. In 1974, farmers digging a well in a field in North China, east of Xi’an, stumbled upon a pit containing 7,000 life-size terracotta statues. The site was soon identified as the burial place of Emperor Qin.

In 246 BCE, Qin Shi Huang, took the throne at only 13 years of age, as China's first emperor. He is credited for several innovative accomplishments as ruler of the first Imperial Empire. Some include standardized scripts and coins, the continued construction of the Great Wall, and the overall expansion and unification of the state.

To celebrate his triumphs and immortalize his life, he ordered the construction of a necropolis in Xi'an, a region rich in gold. He desired an intricate mausoleum filled with precious possessions—some including rare jewels—as well as thousands of custom-made terracotta soldiers to protect him in the afterlife.

Though 7,000 laborers dedicated decades to constructing the larger-than-life tomb and necropolis, the site was left unfinished when Qin died in 210 BCE.

Learn how more than 7,000 Terracotta Warriors immortalized Emperor Quin with this infographic compiled by My Modern Met.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was buried with 7,000 Terracotta Warriors sworn into protecting him in the afterlife. Learn more about this fascinating slice of history.

Terracotta Warriors Infographic

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Claudicet Pena

Claudicet Pena is a Contributing Writer and Project Manager for My Modern Met. In 2005, she attended the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University where she studied Business and Marketing. Later in her career, she found herself teaching yoga and meditation full-time, earning the title “Best Yoga Teacher 2016” by Best Self Atlanta Magazine. Claudicet is currently based in Boston, combining her passions for art, writing, and business development. As a creative at heart, she devotes time to her own outlets of yoga, meditation, writing, drawing, and painting. Claudicet also shares her love of arts & culture with her daughter as they explore the city and travel abroad. Explore along with them on Instagram: @claudipena.
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