Qin Terra Cotta Artisans
Where were these artisans from? The Qin Government recruited countless skilled artisans from all parts of the country. They not only came from Shaanxi, where the warriors were discovered, but also from today's Henan, Hubei, Shandong and Shanxi Provinces. Some artisans worked for the central government, but others were ordinary people. If you look carefully, you will see that the figures created by the artisans from the central government look dignified and majestic. On the other hand, the figures carved by the folk artisans look lively and fresh, which is greatly related to their life experience and living environment. Also, the technical skill level is reflected in the appearance of the warrior figures. Generally speaking, the artistic skill of the artisans from the central government is higher than that of the folk ones.
Visitors are amazed by this masterpiece created by the Qin people. Each plate of armor was ground by hand to achieve the perfect thickness of 0.3 centimeters. Archaeologists tried to reproduce this armor, but even the most modern tools can only cut a piece of plate armor to 0.5 centimeters. The detail
These skilled craftsmen, as well as the soldiers, fulfilled the Emperor Qin Shihuang's dream of ruling in the after-world. Bamboo slips unearthed in the pit recorded some of their letters home and from these we can catch a glimpse of their daily life. One soldier (or maybe an artisan) wrote, "Mother, if the cloth is too expensive at home, please send me some money, and I can buy some cloth here and sew padded jackets myself." An artisan wrote, "I have to work carefully every day, if I paint the weapons incorrectly, my officer will punish me very severely." From those words, we can see that these common people lived a stressful and hard life when they worked for the emperor.
However, even though the technical skills of all the artisans were excellent, and their contribution to the Qin Empire was incalculable, their fate was sealed. After the death of the Emperor Qin Shihuang, Hu Hai, the second emperor of Qin Dynasty, ordered to bury them alive in the tomb passages so that the secret of the mausoleum would not be revealed. The poor artisans became the victims of the death of Emperor Qin Shihuang and guarded the entrance to his tomb for over two-thousand years.
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