Terracotta Standing Archers

The Terracotta Standing Archers, also called the Light Infantry Standing in Shooting Postures, are mostly discovered in Pit 1 and Pit 2 of the Terracotta Army. These distinctive archers are dynamic because of their lifelike shooting stance, which is helpful for people to distinguish them from the others. 

Postures of the Terracotta Standing Archers

Terracotta Standing ArcherAlmost all the excavated standing archery warriors are about 1.78 meters (5ft 9in) tall. With serious and solemn expressions, their faces slightly turn to the left and their eyes look to the front left in concentration. These standing warriors were made as the images of archers, therefore both of their hands stretch out in opposite directions to form a gesture of shooting with a bow and arrow. In addition, they have a slightly bent left leg and a straight right leg to the back, with their feet in the shape of the Chinese character "丁". 

There used to be crossbows in the hands of these terracotta standing archers. It is a pity that the wooden crossbows have decayed after so many years, but the bronze ones are relatively well-preserved for visitors to appreciate. Like some treasures unearthed from the Terracotta Warriors pits, these bronze weapons are also displayed on the Exhibition Hall of Historical Relics of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum for visitors to have a look.  

Most terracotta warriors hold straight standing gestures, and their body’s right and left sides are symmetrical and balanced. Their slight actions cannot reveal the beauty of the human body, but the vivid archery warriors are able to show this for their unique gestures. Their turned heads and bodies as well as their serious expressions echo the life-like actions of shooting. In addition, this distinctive posture showcases the superior level of sculpture in ancient times.  

The Clothing and Dress of the Terracotta Standing Archers

The clothing and dress of the archers is distinctive. There is a rounded right-of-center bun on each warrior’s head. In contrast with other terracotta figures, most of the standing archers wear long knee-length robes covered by short suits instead of armor coats and there is a belt around each archer’s waist. Leg guards were necessary for these warriors to protect themselves from getting wounded. In addition, their shoes also draw visitors’ attention because of its unique square shape. To improve their moving sensitivity and fighting flexibility, the terracotta standing archers were equipped with light and well-fitting tops and pants. During the war, this kind of regular military garb is practical and common for ordinary soldiers. 

Terracotta Archery Battle Array

In the east of Pit 2, the terracotta standing archers and the kneeling archers are arranged into a regular archery battle array, which reveals the actual battle scenes of ancient times. Kneeling archers are situated in the center of the array and the standing archers are set to surround the kneeling ones. One of the most significant differences between terracotta standing archers and kneeling archers are the different gestures. All the terracotta kneeling archers were made with squatting positions, while the standing ones have quite a different stance. This can reflect the real scene of a long-distance shooting battle in the Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC).
  Infantry Warriors
 Chariot Warriors
 Cavalry Warriors
 Kneeling Archers
 Terracotta Horses
- Last updated on Aug. 01, 2022 -
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