Stepping back in history and looking at statues that were created before we even began tracking time like we do now, before the estimated time of birth of Christ, before we started contemplating East vs. West or even before the world was viewed as a circle is kind of a trippy experience. Seeing things that are over 2200 years old has that kind of effect.
Let me give you the quick rundown, especially for my western friends that might not know much about Chinese history. Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of a unified China. He brought all the states of ancient China together under control and reigned from 220 until 210 BC. He died by ingesting mercury that he believed to the elixir of life for his immortality.
He is buried here. In this man-made mountain in the eastern outskirts of Xi’An in the central Chinese province of Shaanxi. His grave has not been excavated for both cultural and scientific reasons. It is difficult to see the mountain (I’d call it more like a hill) because of the smog of Xi’An. You cannot actually see the first emperor. Just the mountain that he is buried in.
In 1974, some local farmers discovered something very strange while they were digging a well for water. They excavated a huge sealed tomb full of warriors, generals, officers, horses and chariots made of clay. The purpose of the tombs, generally speaking, is to protect the emperor in his journey in the afterlife. He had people (slaves) spend years and years making these pits of warriors that surround his tomb.
Many thousands of slave labors worked tirelessly to build the warriors. Scholars and researchers have said that the laborers were buried with their sculptures. More than 300,000 men (some sources suggest more than 720,00 people) died to create the warriors in a few years. On this day, I only had to deal with several thousand. It was like trying to be on the rail of a rock concert.
So amazing to witness. Each statue is handmade and unique, capturing the features of the time and class system. Each warrior is individually made and unique. No two are quite the same.
Surrounded by mercury rivers.
it is like a rock concert.
On the rail. Lady Zha Zha was our tour guide…. our hotel set it all up. I can highly recommend the Hangton house.
Ross is always breaking the rules….
This is a living project. There are archaeologists from around the world that continue to work on the warriors and put the pieces together.
Diving into history…..
Work continues on putting together the warriors.
Many famous people have been here….
Even this family….
No trip is complete without a tour of the shopping center.