Terracotta Army Facts

FAQ on Terracotta Warriors

Famous as the World’s Eighth Wonder, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum is the largest underground military museum in the world, with exhibits of more than 2,000 years. At present, it is a world well-known destination, attracting a large number of visitors at home and abroad.
Our Tour Group at Terracotta Warriors Museum
Our Group at Terracotta Warriors Museum
Pit 1 in Terracotta Warriors Museum, Xian
Panoramic View of Pit 1
 Where are the magnificent Terracotta Warriors and Horses located? How far is the museum from Beijing?
 They are located in the Lintong District of Xian, Shaanxi Province, around 22 mi (35km) from Xian city center, and around 684mi (1,100km) from Beijing.
 

 How long does it take to see the Terracotta Warriors?
 Three to four hours are recommended to visit the museum.
 

 Who Built the Terracotta Warriors?
 They were constructed by millions of laborers, on the order of Emperor Qin Shi Huang – the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) and a unified China. The Prime Minister, Li Si, was appointed as the designer and director, and Zhang Han, a general then, was the construction supervisor.


 When and why made the terracotta soldiers and horses?

 When: Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 years old around 246 BC, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the magnificent project. The whole process lasted around 38 years.

Why: There are two popular reasons for the construction of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Firstly, it is said that Qin Shi Huang was a worshipper of feudalistic superstition. He believed that people could still enjoy all he owned after his death. Therefore, he had the terracotta army made to safeguard, accompany and serve him in the afterlife. Secondly, all these were sacrificial objects. As he was an emperor, he demanded to have more magnificent sacrificial things.


 When and how were they unearthed?
 In March, 1974, when some peasants of Xiyang Village, currently a part of Terracotta Army Village or Xiahe Village, Lintong dug a well, they found some pottery. Later the pottery turned out to be of great value according to archeologists, who quickly went there to extend the digs. Later the amazing treasures were presented. In 1975, the government decided to build a museum at the site for protection and further research.

 See more about Discovery of Terracotta Army

Size of Terracotta Warriors
See Size of Terracotta Warriors
from the Replicas

  How tall are the Terracotta Warriors? 
 Generally speaking, they are the same size as living human beings or a little taller. Specifically, they average 1.73-1.96 m (5.7-6.4 ft) and the tallest one is around 2.5 m (8.2 ft).


 How many warriors and horses have been unearthed? 
 According to the latest archaeological excavation statistics, more than 8,000 terracotta figures and horses are laid out in three pits in the museum. They include foot soldiers, cavalries, sergeants and archers as well as war chariots and horses.


 Why are all the soldiers and horse facing east?
 According to historical records, the original ruling area of Qin was in the west and the other states were in the east. Qin Shi Huang always had an aim to unify all states, so the soldiers and horses facing east might suggest his determination for unification. Some people think that they were made to face east to keep close attention to the tendency or trend of the eastern area, ready to fight at any time.


 I heard that all the warriors have different facial expressions and hair styles. Is that true?

Terracotta Figures
Close Shot of Delicate Terracotta Figures

 Yes, it is. It is said that during the construction, numerous artisans were hired throughout the country. More than 80 names of artisans have been found on the warriors. Including apprentices and assistants, over 720,000 people were involved in the construction. They came from different areas of China, including Shaanxi, Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shandong and Hubei provinces. Some of them worked for the government and some were folk craftspeople. Because of different skills, the terracotta soldiers were made with different expressions and styles. The different hair styles could have been deliberately designed. There is a saying that in the Qin Dynasty, people of different hierarchies were allowed to wear different hair styles.

 See more about
Faces of Terracotta Warriors
Hairstyles of Terracotta Warriors


  I heard the Terracotta Warriors were first made in delicate colors. Is it true?
 Yes, it is true. They were originally painted and the major colors were scarlet, rose-bengal, pink, purplish red, dark blue, green, and reddish brown. However, because of the current defective protective technology, they are immediately oxidized and become drab when being unearthed. Thus the protection of the magnificent historical project is still a challenge in archaeology. That is also the reason why the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang has not been excavated yet.

 See more about True Colors of Terracotta Warriors


Terracotta Warriors Replicas
Shopping for Replicas

 How to get to the Terracotta Warriors Museum from Xian Xianyang Airport or Xian Railway Station?
 From the airport, you can hire a taxi directly to the museum with a fare of CNY 150 – 200. You can also take the airport shuttle Railway Station Line and get off at its terminus, and then walk to the east square of the railway station to catch bus no. 914, 915 or tourist line 5 (no. 306) to the museum. The taxi fare from Xian Railway Station or the city center area to the museum is CNY 110 - 120. From Xian North Railway Station, you can take the free bus to the attraction site after buying its entrance ticket.


  Are the terracotta warriors replicas sold as souvenirs? How can I purchase them?
 Yes, they are representative and distinctive souvenirs of Xian. Many visitors go home with replicas of various sizes as souvenirs. There are many stores at the museum and around Xian Railway Station.

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