Terracotta Standing Archers

The terracotta standing archers, also called the light infantry standing in shooting postures, are mostly discovered in the 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 Terracotta Standing Archers

Terracotta Standing ArcherAlmost all of the excavated standing archery warriors are about 1.78 meters (5.84 feet) tall. With serious and solemn expressions, their faces slightly turn to the left and the eyes look at the front left in concentration. These terracotta standing warriors are made as the images of archers, therefore both of their hands stretch out to different directions to form a gesture of shooting. In addition, they have slightly arched left legs and backward tightened right legs, and their feet are in the shape of the Chinese character "丁". 

There used to 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 tourists to appreciate. Like some treasures unearthed from Terracotta Warriors pits, these bronze weapons are also displayed on the Exhibition Hall of Historical Relics of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum for tourists to have a look.  

Most terracotta warriors hold the standing gestures straightly, and their bodies’ right side and the left side are symmetrical and balanced. People cannot enjoy the beauty of human body because they only have slight actions, but the vivid archery warriors are able to show this for their unique gestures. Their turning heads and bodies as well as the serious expressions echo the life-like actions of shooting. In addition, this distinctive posture can also prove the superior art level of sculpture in ancient times. 

Dressing of Terracotta Standing Archers

The dressings of the archers are distinctive. It is easy to see that 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. Legs guards are necessary for these warriors to protect them from getting wounded. Besides, their shoes also draw visitors’ attention because of the unique square shape. In order to improve their moving sensitivity and fighting flexibility, the terracotta standing archers are 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 the 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 Chinese ancient time. 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 & kneeling archers are the different gestures. All of the terracotta kneeling archers are made with squatting positions, while the standings have quite different stance. This can reflect the real scene of shooting battle at a long distance in Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC).
  Infantry Warriors
 Chariot Warriors
 Cavalry Warriors
 Kneeling Archers