Terracotta Army Facts

Bronze Chariots and Horses

Two large scale models of bronze chariots and horses came unearthed in December, 1980, about 20 meters (22 yards) west to the mound of Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum. Tagged Bronze Chariot and Horses No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, they were originally encased in a wooden box which was buried 8 meters (26 feet) down in a trench for over two thousand years. Both required extensive restoration, before public display. No. 2 Chariot was unveiled first in 1983, then No.1 Chariot in 1988. Visitors can now appreciate them in the Exhibition Hall of Historical Relics of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum next to Terracotta Warriors Pit 2.
No.1 Bronze Chariot and Horses
No.1 Bronze Chariot and Horses
Qin chariot in Terra Cotta Warriors Museum
No.2 Bronze Chariot and Horses

  Bronze Chariots and Horses Pictures


Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Vehicles in Afterlife

Intended to serve as the vehicles for the inspection tours of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife, these two chariots and horses are half size scale models of the real ones of Qin Dynasty (221 – 207BC), faithfully copied down to the last detail, and each complete with a team of four strong horses and a coachman. You can also see coachmen armed with swords on both sides guarding the chariots. They were constructed in bronze and cast bullion, but beyond that there are plenty of gold and silver pieces, that weigh about 14 kilograms (30 pounds) in total. Decorated with geometric and cloud patterns, the two square carriages with a single shaft and two wheels were drawn beautifully in various colors, including red, violet, and blue. They are the earliest found, largest, and best-preserved bronze carriages to be found in China. 

No. 1 Bronze Chariot and Horses

No. 1 Chariot is the vanguard. There is a large umbrella providing shade from the sun. Its handle is flexible and rotatable to block the sun from different angles, hence this umbrella is considered to be the world's earliest sunshade. A driver is standing below the umbrella, with his hands holding the horses’ rein. The entire No. 1 bronze carriage and horses are decorated with exquisite colored drawings, and gold and silver ornaments weighing over 3,000 and 4,000 grams (6.6 and 8.8 pounds) respectively. 

Measurement: 225 cm long x 152 cam high (89 x 60 inches)
Weight: 1,061 kilograms (2,340 pounds)

coachman statue in Terra Cotta Army Museum
Coachman Statue
Bronze horses on Qin chariot
Bronze Horses Standing Side by Side

No. 2 Bronze Chariot and Horses

This is larger than the No. 1 Bronze Chariot and Horses and the chariot is enclosed. The horses are richly adorned with gold and silver trappings. The chariot has three windows, one to the front, and one on either side in the compartment, and a door opens at the back. One may open and close the windows and the door. The roof is umbrella shaped, said to be symbolic of the round sky. There is a kneeling figure driving the No. 2 bronze vehicle. 

Measurement: 317 long x 106 high cm (125 x 42 inches)
Weight: 1,241 kilograms (2,736 pounds) 

No.2 Bronze Chariot and Horses
Side View of No.2 Bronze Chariot and Horses
No.2 Bronze Chariot and Horses
The door is on the back of the chariot.

Advanced Manufacturing Techniques

Qin artisans adopted great deal of superb crafts during the manufacture process, such as casting, soldering, and riveting. A total of more than 5,000 components and parts are used on the bronze chariots and horses, and each of them is complete and independent. It is innovative that the craftsmen split the complex components into simple parts, and they manufactured the simple ones separately and assembled them into a complex whole. For example, the horse’s headstall is fabricated with 82 and 78 tiny gold and silver tubes, which are flat and only 0.8 centimeters (0.3 inches) long. 

Repair the Umbrella of the Chariot
The Umbrella of the Chariot under Repair
The Wheels of the Chariot
The Wheels of the Chariot

Magnificent Colored Drawings

The two excavated chariots possess magnificent colored drawings to show their gorgeousness and magnificence. The chromatic decorations cleverly conceal the traces of patching, and they play an important role in delaying the oxidation of the bronze as well. The basic color is white, and blue and green are the common colors appearing on the bronze carriages. The eight white horses harnessed to the chariots have pink mouths and nostrils, and the drivers have blue-black hair, pink faces and long sky-blue robes.

 You may like: Stallions or mares are the war horses in the Terracotta Army?

 Recommended Tours including the visit to Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses:
Terracotta Warriors Tour: One-day to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses and more
More Xi'an Tours

Next: Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum

- Last updated on Apr. 12, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Bronze Chariots and Horses
Asked by paul oneill from USA | Jan. 05, 2015 15:31Reply
need to know if the guards guarding chariots were of terracotta or bronze,like the emperors chariot
i under stand that everthing relating to the emperors chariots were of one -half size,the horses, the two chariots and the hard ware,what were the guards of the chariots made of ,terracotta or made of silver and gold like the chariots and the horses were made of ?thank you.paul --phone # 405-588-3882.
Answers (1)
Answered by Paul from GERMANY | Jan. 06, 2015 00:26

As I know, it is made from terracotta.
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