Terracotta Army Facts

Terracotta Warriors Pit 1

Terracotta army partitioned by walls
 Terracotta Warriors Pit 1 Pictures
Terracotta Warriors Pit 1 is the largest pit of the underground Terracotta Army. Inside it, there are over 6,000 terracotta warriors and horses including infantry, cavalry and chariot warriors. They are life-like and life-sized, and arranged in a battle formation.

This pit was discovered by local villagers in March 1974. They found fragments of terracotta warriors and many bronze weapons after being buried underground for over 2,000 years. After careful excavations on the Terracotta Army Pit 1, a large arched hall with an area of 16,000 square meters (19,136 square yards) was built above the pit in 1976 for the purpose of protection. On October 1st, 1979, this Pit was opened to the public.

How Does the Terracotta Warriors Pit 1 Look Like?

Terracotta Army Pit 1 is an east-west rectangular pit, measuring 230 meters (252 yards) long, 62 meters (68 yards) wide and 4.5 to 6.5 meters (15 to 21 feet) deep. With an area of 14,260 square meters (17,055 square yards), it is the largest pit in the burial ground of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. There are five sloping entrances on both the eastern and western sides. Two side doors are installed on the northern and southern sides. About every three meters (3.3 yards), there is a puddle wall, which separates the underground army into different columns. The walls were fortified with wooden columns, earth and reeds while the floor was covered with caesious bricks. Some bricks are orange, decorated and engraved with string patterns and a few characters respectively. 

The archeological excavations found burned traces of black charcoal in Pit 1. Some experts guess that it could be Xiang Yu – overlord in the West Chu Period (232 – 202 BC), who set fire to the pit, which caused the pit to collapse and many terracotta warriors and horses being destroyed.
Figures of Terracotta Warrior and Horses
Figures of Terracotta Warrior and Horses
A Plait of Braided Hair
A Plait of Braided Hair
Third Excavation of Pit 1
Third Excavation of Pit 1
Terracotta Warriors Pit
Broken Terracotta Figures in Pit 1

What to See Inside Terracotta Warriors Pit 1?

Terracotta Warriors and Horses

There are over 6,000 terracotta warriors and horses in Pit No. 1, of which 1,000 have been unearthed. Every soldier and horse inside the pit is life-like and life-sized, recapturing the formidable army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Some soldiers are not armed at all, considered to be the bravest ones; some are light armed with a piece of stone armor; and some believed to be high-rank officers are armed with leather armor. All the pottery figurines and horses are different because they have dissimilar hair styles, attires and gestures. Even each soldier's facial expressions are disparate, too. 
Shaanxi Terra Cotta Warriors Museum - Pit 1
Shaanxi Terracotta Warriors Museum - Pit 1
Military Formation in Terracotta Army Pit 1
Military Formation in Terracotta Army Pit 1

Military Formation 

The army inside Pit 1is mainly composed of the infantry, cavalry, chariot soldiers and archers, and they are marshaled into a well-organized battle array in the pit. To the east of Pit 1, the vanguard includes more than 200 archers divided equally into three lines. The infantry and cavalry as well as war chariot follow close in line, forming the main body of the battle formation. The foot soldiers are alternated with the chariots drawn by horses, lined into 38 columns. On both the northern and southern sides of the war formation stand 180 warriors which serve as flank guards. The rear guards are on the western end, with two lines facing east and another facing west. 


During the excavation, in addition to the terracotta warriors and horses, archeologists discovered a variety of different weaponry including bronze swords, spears, crossbows, arrows and billhooks. Among them, Qin crossbow is regarded as the King of Cold Weapons.


From the ticket office, you can walk southwards for about 500 meters (550 yards). Then turn right to walk for another 500 meters (550 yards) to find the entrance of pit 1. 

While entering from its east main gate, you can have a full view of the whole pit from the front side. Then go farther south, more details of the terracotta warriors and horses can be seen. The exit is in the northwest corner. After getting out, you can find the entrance of the Pit 3 not far away. Opposite to the exit of Pit 3 is the entrance of Pit 2.  

 Recommended Tour Itinerary:
Terracotta Warriors Tour: One-day to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses and more
More Xi'an Tours

Next: The Third Excavation of Pit 1

- Last modified on Jun. 15, 2018 -

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