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Xian Travel Guide

Terracotta Warriors History

Terracotta Warriors, with a history of more than 2200 years, is located in Xiahe Village, 5 km to the east of Lintong District of Xian City in Shanxi Province. In 1987, Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and Terracotta Warriors were approved by UNESCO to be listed in "world heritage list". It is also known as “the Eighth Wonder of the World”.
Terracotta Warriors History
History Background
Qin Shi Huang (259 BC - 210 BC) was the first emperor of China. According to the ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian in Han Dynasty, Qing Shi Huang ascended the throne when he was just 13 years old (246 BC), and began the construction of his mausoleum the same year. For the construction, he ordered 720, 000 labors to build his mausoleum. And the construction was just finished 210 BC for his use when he died this year.
 
According to the history of China, it was Li Si, the prime minister of Qin Dynasty who presided over the construction of Qin Shi Huang Emperor. Emperor Qin Shi Huang appreciated his talents and trusted him. Li Si did great contribution to the construction of the mausoleum and he was also the only one recorded in the history book as the one presided over the mausoleum construction.
 
Sima Qian, in his famous historical work, Shiji, recorded that Qin Shi Huang was buried with underground palaces, towers, officials, artifacts and lots of wonderful objects. 100 underground rivers were flowing mercury. The mausoleum was decorated like a heavenly palace but above was just normal as the land of anywhere.
 
Construction of Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum
The mausoleum construction project could be divided in to 3 periods. The first period was the first 26 years since Qin Shi Huang ascended the throne. The design and main project’s construction were in this period, which laid the foundation of the scale and basic pattern of the mausoleum. The second period was from national unity to the 35 year of Qin Shi Huang, the 9 years, which is the large scale construction period of the tomb and the main projects were completed during this period. After this period, the 3rd period was 3 years until 221 BC, which is also the last period of the whole construction. The mausoleum’s construction was for Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.
 
Discoverd
On Mar. 29, 1974, The Terracotta Warriors was discovered to the east of Xian City by a group of farmers when they digging wells at the foot of Mount Li. It was the spot where just 1.6 km east of the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum. For centuries, there were some reports of some pieces of Terracotta Warriors, giant bricks, roofing titles being found in this area.
 
Significance
In ancient China, living concubines and slaves always were buried with their masters when the masters died. Emperor Qin Shi Huang built his mausoleum and used terracotta warriors to substitute living warriors. The whole project is so large that have not seen in the world before. In 1987, Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and Terracotta Warriors were approved by UNESCO to be listed in "world heritage list". It is also known as “the Eighth Wonder of the World”.

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