Terracotta Army Facts

FAQs on Terracotta Army

FAQs on Terracotta Warriors and Horses

 What are the terracotta soldiers and horses?

 Those terracotta soldiers are life-sized pottery figures made about 2,200 years ago as military army to defend Qin Shi Huang - the First Emperor of China in his afterlife. They were unveiled to the world in March 1974. 

 Who Built the Terracotta Warriors? How many workers worked on the terracotta warriors construction project?

 They were constructed by millions of laborers, on the order of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. His Prime Minister, Li Si, was appointed as the designer and director, and Zhang Han, a general then, was the construction supervisor. It is estimated that over 720,000 workers have been involved in the construction project.

 How old is the Terracotta Army? When was it made?

 The Terracotta Army was at the age of over 2,200. 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 nearly 40 years.

Our Tour Group at Terracotta Warriors Museum
Our Group at Terracotta Warriors Museum
Pit 1 in Terracotta Warriors Museum, Xi'an
Panoramic View of Pit 1

 Why made the terracotta soldiers and horses? What’s the purpose of constructing them?

 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.

 How the Terracotta Warriors were made? 

 There are 7 steps to complete an integrated pottery figurine: first, make its main body from the pedestal to the collar with yellow earth; then use the mould to make head, arms, and hands, next; glue them together and let it dry in the shade; carving the details and getting them fired in kilns are the following two steps. At last, after install the head, the terracotta warriors need to be glazed and colored.

 How were Shi Huangdi’s Terracotta Warriors discovered? Who, when and where discovered them?

 In March, 1974, when some peasants of Xiyang Village, currently a part of Terracotta Army Village or Xiahe Village were digging a well, they found some pottery pieces. 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.

  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 infantry warriors, cavalry warriors, archers and chariot warriors as well as war chariots and horses.

 How tall are the Terracotta Warriors?

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

 Generally speaking, they are the same size as 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).

 Which direction does the terracotta army face? Why?

 All the pottery warriors are 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 are different. Is that true?

 Yes, they are all different. Over 720,000 artisans and common labors had been involved in the construction. They made some parts by hand and even the parts made by mould would be carved by hand later for details, leading to the pottery figures one different from another. Also, the hair style, clothes, postures and equipment for soldiers of different types and ranks are different, which also lead to their difference.

 See more about
Faces of Terracotta Warriors
Hairstyles of Terracotta Warriors
Types 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. 

 See more about True Colors of Terracotta Warriors 

FAQs on How to Visit Terracotta Army

 Where is the Terracotta Army? How far is the museum from Beijing?

 It is located in the Lintong District of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, around 40km (25mi) from Xi'an city center, and around 1,100km (684mi) from Beijing.

 See more about How to Get to Terracotta Army from Beijing/ Shanghai/ Hong Kong

Terracotta Figures
Delicate Terracotta Figures

 How to Get to Terracotta Army from Downtown Xi'an? 

 From downtown Xi'an, you can take bus no. tourist 5 (306) at east square of Xi'an Railway Station to reach the Terracotta Army. Or take bus 307 inside the city or taxi to reach the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. The taxi fare from Xi'an Railway Station or the city center area to the museum is about CNY 150. 

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. tourist 5 (306) to the museum. From Xi'an North Railway Station, you can take the free bus to the attraction site after buying its entrance ticket.

 What is the best time to visit Terracotta Warriors Museum? 

 The best time for a visit should be Mar. to May & Sep. to Oct. because of the pleasant weather. To enjoy a comfortable tour, you are advised to avoid holidays, when the scenic site is full of visitors. In a day, the best time to Terracotta Army should be prior to 10:00 a.m. and lunch time in early afternoon.

 How long does it take to see the Terracotta Warriors?

 Three to four hours are recommended to visit the museum.

 Can I jump into the pits to take a photo with terracotta warriors and horses?

 No, you cannot do that. There is warning board that reads “No Admittance” inside terracotta warriors pits. As tourists, you are not allowed to climb over the fencings around three pits to do the photograph with those pottery warriors and horses. For well preservation of earthen figurines, you should not use the camera’s flash lamp when photographing them.

- Last modified on Sep. 09, 2018 -

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