Facts About The Mausoleum Of The First Qin Emperor | Kidadl


Facts About The Mausoleum Of The First Qin Emperor

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The Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor is famous for its life-size statues of terracotta warriors.

For Chinese sculptures, the structures are considered one of the major works and provide valuable insight into military and social history. By chance, farmers discovered the underground palace, where three pits have been discovered so far.

Over 8,000 figures of horses and warriors were found in these three burial pits. The first emperor in Chinese history, Qin Shi Huang, was fond of grand projects. He was the one to arrange for the construction of these pits and was also responsible for the idea behind the Great Wall of China.

It is believed that the terracotta warriors buried there were used to help him rule and capture other places in the afterlife. The construction of this structure took 38 years, and 7,000,000 men were involved. The terracotta warriors were made at the construction site and then placed in the pits according to their duties and ranks. In 210 BC, when Shi Huang died, he was buried in the same place; the tomb remains unopened.

The mausoleum has a grave mound, high integrity level, burial grounds, mausoleum constructions, ritual construction sites, buffer zones, and much more. Also, they reflect the ritual system and structure of the entire mausoleum. These things truthfully maintain the original material, location, structure, technology, and formation. They reflect the constricting rules and regulations of the Qin dynasty's military systems and palace life.

Numerous unearthed chariot assemblies, the highest technical pottery level, metal processing, metallurgy, etc., reflect the Qin dynasty. It covers around 200 pits, occupying 600 sites. The exceptional artistic and technical qualities have made these horses and warriors one of the major works of the Han dynasty.

It is said that the structures are bigger than the Great Pyramid present in Egypt. However, the laborers who created this structure came from three different groups: the prisoners, the craftsmen, and the people who had to clear a debt. This place was also recognized as a notorious crime scene.

History & Cultural Significance

The underground palace is based in Lintong District, Xi'an, and it comes under the Shaanxi province in China. It was constructed from 246-208 BC and had a 2,992.1 in (76 m) tall tomb. The layout of the archaeological site was modeled in Xianyang, the Qin capital, and divided into outer and inner cities. The outer city's circumference is 3.9 mi (6.3 km), and that of the inner city is 1.5 mi (2.5 km). The tomb faces east and is based in the inner city's southwest.

When the first emperor, Qin, was 13, the construction of the mausoleum started. However, the full-scale work gained momentum after he conquered six major states. Following that, in 221 BC, he unified China. The information on the construction of this imperial palace came from chapter six in Sima Qian. Also, it contained the biography of Qin Shi Huang, which was written in the first century BC.

After the first emperor came into power, the preparation and digging work started. The laborers dug three layers to get groundwater and poured bronze into it. For hundreds of officials, scenic towers and palaces were made. The tomb was also filled with wonderful treasures and artifacts. Craftsmen made arrows and crossbows to shoot whenever enemies entered the structure.

A hundred rivers, including the Yellow River, the Yangtze, and the Great Sea, were simulated by mercury, which was set to flow mechanically. Man-fish was used to make candles, and it burned without extinguishing for a long time. The second emperor claimed that it would be a breach if the workers who had constructed this structure revealed the details to anyone else. That's why after the funeral, the treasures were hidden. The inner passageway trapped the craftsmen and workers inside. After that, plants and trees were grown on their burials.

The terracotta warriors and horses were made to protect the emperor in his afterlife in terms of cultural heritage. That's why visitors will find many terracotta warriors inside the structure.


A World Heritage Site

In March 1974, many farmers were drilling well into the subterranean chamber where they discovered the terracotta warriors. After that, archaeologists found 8,000 terracotta structures, warriors, and horses. It had richly adorned chariots of wood, bronze chariots, leather bridles, etc. Some objects present there were linen, silk, bone, and jade. The weapons include spears, arrows, bows, swords, etc.

The clay figures of the Qin dynasty were brightly painted with mineral colors. They were in a certain military formation, which included infantrymen, vanguard crossbowmen, bowmen, charioteers, etc. Over 1,300 ceramic figures of different sizes are there. After some years, in 1987, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

In 1994, a new exhibit hall was discovered, and it served as the unique location for the Museum of Qin Figures. In the nearby pits, there were seven humans, half-sized bronze chariots, a zoo of exotic birds and animals, horse skeletons at a subterranean stable, and several other artifacts.

Protection & Management

The Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor was listed under the State Priority Protected list. Including this name under the list means the site is under protection and taken care of by the officials. After passing some regulations, the Shaanxi government established a protection body for protecting the structures.

The horses and terracotta warriors were upgraded in 2009, and the name Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum Museum was given. This name was given by an official body that takes charge of the overall management, planning scientific research, archaeological excavation, and daily maintenance.

In July 2010, conservation was adopted to respond to tourism and urban development. The Shaanxi provincial government looked after all these things. The officials oversee the control zone construction and borders of the protection area. It also prohibits further development in and around the Lintong district. Additionally, the measure has protected the mausoleum, its integrity, and authenticity, and has eliminated destructive activities.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

The terracotta warriors and horses are considered the greatest discovery of the Qin dynasty. There are lesser-known facts about them and the empire, which you can learn more about as you read on.

The Top Archaeological Finds Of This Era: The terracotta warriors of the Qin dynasty were the largest ancient structures. The statues are of different heights ranging from 5.74 to 6.23 ft (175 to 190 cm). Each structure differs in facial expressions, gestures, and color shows. It reveals information about the military, technology, and culture of the Qin empire.

Considered As The Eighth Wonder Of The World: The terracotta army earned praise as the eighth wonder worldwide in September 1987 from Jacques Chirac, the former French President. He claimed that there were seven wonders already there, and that the terracotta structures should be described as the eighth one.

The Museum Of The Terracotta Army In Three Vaults: The museum has an exhibition hall and three pits: Vault One, Vault Two, and Vault Three, and the Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots. Vault One is the most impressive and largest airplane hangar. Over 6,000 terracotta horses and soldiers are there, with 2,000 on display. In the second vault, there are many army units, mixed forces, archers, and cavalry. The third one is the smallest but is the most important. Only 68 structures are present, with officials representing the command post. Next comes the Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots, where each is comprised of 2,720 lb (1,234 kg) and 3,400 parts. Over 1,720 pieces of golden and silver ornaments are present, and on every carriage, they weigh 15.4 lb (7 kg).

Not Only About Soldiers: Since then, the excavation of soldiers, terracotta, acrobats, musicians, and concubines have also been discovered. You will also find different birds like cranes, waterfowl, and ducks in the pits. With all of these things, it has been revealed that Emperor Qin wanted a luxurious way of living in the afterlife similar to what he was living in reality. He wanted all the grand services that were present during the Qin dynasty.

No Two Figures Are Similar: All credit goes to the craftsmen as not even two figures look similar, which is a surprising factor. It shows how skilled the workers were. Every warrior had unique facial features, including archers, infantry, cavalry, generals, etc. Their hairstyles, expressions, and clothing were also unique.

Many More Terracotta Structures To Come: Presently, four pits are in place, while three have been unearthed. But there is more to come. The restoration and excavation process is still ongoing, so many more structures have yet to be discovered. That's why it is being said that the terracotta structures remain undiscovered.

More Than Five Million People Visited This Place In 2015: This place has become famous for tourists, especially during Chinese public holidays and weekends. A huge crowd gathers to explore Chinese history. As per records, more than five million people visited this site in 2015. From October 1-7, more than 4,000,000 travelers visited the place.

Terracotta Warriors At The Exhibition: The terracotta warriors are expected to return to the United Kingdom and secure their place at the British Museum. This is due to the amount of thrilled visitors who flocked to the exhibition.

The Largest Preserved Site: This location is considered the largest site in China, with a unique architectural ensemble. It is associated with a universal significance. In 221 BCE, there was a unification of territory in China into a centralized state.

Tourists interested in exploring this location can use either the ancient-style carriage or a battery-powered motor vehicle. Free shuttle buses are also available that will take you to the location.


Who built the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor?

A: Zhang Han built the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor after redeploying 7,000,000 men.

When was the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor discovered?

A: Until 1974, there were no traces of terracotta warriors and horses, as they remained to be unearthed.

Where is the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor located?

A: The Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor is located in the Lintong District of China. From Xi'an, it is 21.74 mi (35 km) towards the east and to the south of the Lishan mountain.

Why is the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor important?

A: he Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor is considered important as it reveals the history of Chinese valuables and sculptures. They provide insight into the military and social history of that period.

When and why was the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor declared as a World Heritage Site?

A: In 1987, the compound was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The archaeological excavations continued until the 21st century, following which archaeologists said that it would take years to unearth the whole structure. UNESCO listed the Mausoleum of the first Qin emperor in order to protect it.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

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