Terracotta Warriors Pit 1
Terracotta army partitioned by walls
 Terra-Cotta Warriors Pit 1 Pictures
Terra Cotta Pit No.1 was discovered by local villagers in March 1974 who were drilling for wells on a piece of barren land. They found fragments of terracotta warriors and many bronze weapons. These discoveries received much attention and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage sent a team of archaeologists and conservation experts to perform a site visit, and organized Shaanxi archaeologists to perform a full-scale excavation of the site.

In order to protect the find, a large arched hall with a steel frame was built above the pit in 1976. Covering an area of 19,136 square yards, the hall has provided the pit with good ventilation and daylight conditions. In addition, it is burglarproof and fireproof and has temperature and humidity monitoring systems.

Inside the hall, Terra Cotta Pit No.1 is an east-west rectangular pit, measuring 252 yards long, 68 yards wide and 16 feet deep. There are five sloping entrances on both the eastern and western sides. Two side doors are installed on the northern and southern sides. Every three yards, there is a puddle wall, which separates the underground army into different columns. The walls were fortified with wooden columns, earth and reeds while the floor was covered with black bricks. Visitors to the pit will notice that the walls are lower than the terracotta warriors. This is due to a flood in Pit 1 which caused the walls to partially collapse.

There are over 6,000 terra cotta warriors and horses in Pit 1, of which 1,000 have been unearthed. They are marshaled into a well-organized battle array composed of the infantry and cavalry. The vanguard includes 210 foot soldiers divided equally into three lines. The cavalry and war chariot follow close in line, forming the main body of the battle formation. The foot soldiers are alternated with the chariots drawn by horses, lined into 38 columns. On both the northern and southern sides of the war formation stand 180 warriors which serve as flank guards. The rear guards are on the western end, with two lines facing east and another facing west. Some soldiers are armed with battle robe, and some are equipped with armor.
Shaanxi Terra Cotta Warriors Museum - Pit 1
Shaanxi Terra Cotta Warriors Museum - Pit 1
Figures of Terracotta Warrior and Horses
Figures of Terracotta Warrior and Horses
Third Excavation of Pit 1
Third Excavation of Pit 1
A Plait of Braided Hair
A Plait of Braided Hair
The war formation in Pit No.1 is elaborately set in a line and is posed so to seem prepared for battle at any moment. Every soldier and horse warrior is life-like, recapturing the formidable array of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. One can only marvel at the grand artistic ability of the remote Qin Dynasty.

During the excavation, in addition to the terracotta warriors and horses, archeologists discovered a variety of different weaponry including bronze swords, spears, crossbows, arrows and Wugou. Wugou is a type of sword produced in the State of Wu under the order of King Helu. The edge of the Wugou is curved and sharp. This feature distinguishes it from the other weaponry found in the pit.

According to the records, the construction of the terracotta warrior pits began in 221BC when China was united. During the peasant uprisings in 209BC, construction halted and at the end of the Qin Dynasty, Xiang Yu set fire to the pit, which caused the pit to collapse and many terracotta warriors and horses were destroyed.
Repaired Terracotta Warriors Terracotta Warriors Pit
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Terracotta Warriors Tour: One-day to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses and more
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Next: The Third Excavation of Pit 1