Visit Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

As one of the most important archaeological sites, the excavation process of Terracotta Warriors and Horses has never stopped drawing attention of the whole world. On June 13th of 2009, Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses carried out the third large scale archaeological and excavation work in Pit One. The excavation work focused on the middle part of the north side of Pit One, including three partition walls and to corridors. After three years’ hard work, large numbers of terracotta figures, precious objects and vestiges were unearthed and discovered. By May 2012, more than 310 historical relics of various kinds were unearthed in the third excavation. Among the unearthed relics there were terracotta figures, chariot-and-horses wares, weapons, production implements, etc. Some traces of decayed construction materials like woods, mats, and rammed pits were also found.
On July 9th 2012, the 7th Cultural Heritage Day, achievements of the third excavation was shown forth. Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses declared that Xiangyu (a leader of peasant uprising in the last years of the Qin Dynasty) is the suspect that most possibly set fire to Terracotta Figures.

Terracotta Warriors and HorsesBeing preserved in good condition
In process of the third excavation which has lasted for three years by 2012, archeologists met quite a number of painted figures. Among these painted figures the biggest one is 2.5 meters tall and the feet are some 32cm long. And, on the other hand, it was verified that the image of terracotta soldiers are truly different from one to another. Just like people’s guess that one can find one thousand different faces in one thousand soldiers. In the passed three years, archeologists had met with terracotta warriors and horses with black eyes and those with dust-color eyes. As well terracotta head with red eyeballs and black pupils were unearthed, which shocked the archeologists and public.

In addition, the third excavation found a high level general figure. The figure was dressed in an armor that was made with scale-like sheets. The armor was superior in material and excellent in workmanship. The edges of it were decorated with painted pattern and the part below waist was completely preserved. Some traces of painted pattern in geometrical shape were left on the armor. Small sheets of the armor indicate the high level of the armor and the general figure.

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Reason for the fire on terracotta figures
For quite a long time, there exist two opinions on the fire that burned terracotta warriors and horses. Some people believe those terracotta figures were burnt due to its self-ignition, because in pit some organic matters such as woods were placed. With time went by, organic matters would produce marsh gas and then the terracotta figures got burned themselves. Others insist that the fire on terracotta figures is man-made sabotage. It seemed the third excavation ends the argument between two opinions.
Archeologists found a north-south corridor at the west part of the excavation zone, which are interconnected with door way of in north. The burned terracotta figures were mostly in airy areas, so the figures in this corridor were burned more severely than them of other areas. It can be seen that the terracotta burned because of man but not by themselves.
Who set the fire to those figures on earth? Xiang Yu, a leader of farmer uprising in the last years of the Qin Dynasty is the most suspicious person. According to record in Shi Ji(the first biographical history of China), the location of Hong Men Yan (a banquet held by Xiang Yu when he succeeded in overthrowing the Qin Dynasty) is just some five kilometers to terracotta pit. Xiang Yu regarded the Qin government as his enemy, so he was very possible to set fire on mortuary objects of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang. And this idea is held by most archeologists.

The hole for robbing
With the approval the State Cultural Relics Bureau, in June 2009, the third excavation of Pit One was carried out in a range of 200 square meters. During the excavation progress, archeologists found a hole for robbing that passed through top of the terracotta pit and stretched directly to the corridor. That finding provided people with new materials for exploring the burning of terracotta pit.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses2Some of the unearthed cultural relics
Terracotta warriors and horses
Terracotta warriors and horses were basically created on basis of the real life. One will find there are many kinds of hairstyle of different terracotta figures, and the gestures are also diverse from each other, the facial expressions are even richer. A terracotta warrior, weather it is an officer figure or a soldier, a infantryman figure or a cavalryman figure, would be recognized easily by its dressing, facial expression, and posture.
Terracotta warriors and horses were made by a mixed technique of painting and modeling. Though they were made more than 2000 years ago, some faint painted color on faces and clothes of terracotta figures were still visible upon their excavation. And there exists no terracotta figure that is totally the seam as another one.

The most noticeable thing is the difference in facial expressions and facial features. Military officers are usually with solemn expression and elder in age. Some of military officers have wrinkles on forehead. The facial expressions of warriors are of much individuality, which would betray their various characteristics and even some regionally difference can be read from their faces. Facial features of many terracotta figures are much similar with that of modern native of Shaanxi Province.
It seems as if each terracotta soldier is listening carefully. They look all calm, witty, and soldierly bearing with heroic spirit. Those terracotta soldiers vividly re-appeared the grand military force of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. In the respect if status, terracotta figures can be lemmatized into soldiers and military officers. The military officers can be further classed as lower-class, middle-class, and high-class officers. Generally speaking, military officers wear helmets, while soldiers wear no helmet. And the helmets, even the jupons, of ordinary military officers are different from those of generals. The terracotta soldiers can be classified into three units, namely infantrymen, cavalrymen, and chariot fighters. And the different military units have different equipments according to needs of actual combats.

Sergeant figures
Except for the soldier in charge of packing horse, the other two soldiers on chariot are called chariot fighters. Generally he fighter on the right side of the chariot is right fighter and the one on the opposite side is called left fighter. The left fighter is dressed in long coat inside and loricae outside, having leg covering to protect legs and conical cap on its head. Long weapons like pike, spear, and lance were held in its left hand and the right hand seams like is grasping the chariot. The clothing of the right fighter is the same as that of the left fighter but the posture is opposite. Both of the right and the left fighters are main force of the chariot war. Besides, there is a military officer figure on war chariot as well. Military officers can be classified into several levels, and they are commanders of the chariots.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses1

Standing shooting warrior figures
Standing shooting warriors that unearthed in the east part of Pit Two is a special military troop. Weapons in their hands are bow and arrows. They constitute the bow-and-arrow troop together with kneeling shooting warriors. Standing shooting warriors stand in the surface of the battle array. Standing shooting warriors are dressed in light robe, having a bob on head top and leather belt in waist, and squared tilted-head shoes on feet. The shooting skill was quite developed in Emperor Qin Shi Huang period. Soldiers had mastered a series of standard shooting skills and these skills were carried on by shooting soldiers of later generations.

Kneeling shooting warrior figures
Kneeling shooting warrior figures were unearthed in the center of the combat array where standing shooting figures were unearthed. They hold the same weapons with standing shooting figures. Kneeling shooting figures are dressed in battle robe which covered with loricae, having a bob on the left head top and squared titled-head shoes on feet. Their left legs are bent and right knees touchdown. Upper part of their bodies turns left slightly, while two hands look like handling a bow in the right side of their bodies. Among all terracotta warriors, kneeling shooting figures are the only completely preserved figures upon their excavation. The painted red loricae on their back drown much attention of both archeologists and public.

Warrior figures
Warrior figures are also known as soldier figures. The average height of them is around 1.8 meters. As the main part of combat array, they are the most in amount among all unearthed terracotta figures. Warrior figures can be classified into robe warriors and locicae warriors by their dressing. They were spread in the whole combat array to make up the main combat force. Robe warriors were flexible, so they were arrayed in the surface; loricae warriors were placed in the center of combat array. Both of the two kinds of warriors have combat weapons in their hands. They look all full of sap and ready for a combat at any time.

General figures & military officer figures
General figures can also be divided into robe general figures and loricae general figures by their clothing. Loricae general figures wear head bands with double or single vertical lath. And the loricae they wear are in different styles. The clothing of robe general figures is relatively plain with a knot decoration on their chests. While loricae general figures have painted knot decorations in their chests, on their backs and two shoulders, accounting in eight decorations altogether. The gorgeous and elegant knots can reveal their identities, ranking level, and stateliness in the army.
Military officer figures are lower than general figures in their position. And a military officer figure belongs to either high level, middle level or low level in military system. Military officer figures are much less than other figures. There are only less than ten military officer figures unearthed in terracotta pit. Military officer figures differ from general figures in both clothing and spiritual outlook. Military officers are usually not as strong and burly as generals, but they are taller than generals. They throw a chest with their wide shoulders, wearing solemn appearance. It seems that military officers are better at thinking.

Cavalry figures
Cavalry figures were unearthed in Pit One and Pit Two, accounting in 116 figures. Cavalry is trained for pouncing in combat. Because of its special nature, clothing of cavalrymen is distinctly different from that of infantrymen and chariot warriors. Cavalrymen wear small round caps, tiny short loricae, and ankle boots. While they were no protection for their arms and hands. One bare hand held the halter and the other hand held a cross. From the special dressing of these cavalrymen, we would know that fast in action is the basic requirement for cavalry. So far the cavalry figures unearthed in Pit Two are the earliest solid objects ever found in history of archeology in China. Therefore these cavalry figures are regarded as the precious material for the research on clothing and equipment of cavalry in the Qin Dynasty.

Soldier figures in charge of packing chariots
Soldier figures in charge of packing chariots have been unearthed in all three pits. They wear long robes and the arm protections are the same long with their arms. All their hands, legs, and necks are protected with armours. And they wear cloth cap and head band with an upright board. The two arms stretched forward, like handling a halter. Since ware chariot is much high-powered in battles of that time, drivers of chariots are of vital importance in ancient wars, especially in chariot combats. Some times soldiers in charge of packing chariots can even change the combat situation.

Unearthed weapons
Weapons unearthed in this excavation are mainly long weapons and long-range ones. Long weapons are mainly pikes, lances, long swords, etc. They are all made of bronze. Pikes are generally 7 meters long. Soldiers often use it to fight in organized troops. Lances are usually 3.5 meters long. Warriors using this lance usually are good at fight on his own Swords are basically 0.78 meters long. Swords of this length are the longest swords among swords of all kingdoms in Warring States Period. The long-range weapons are cross-bows. The cross-bows are placed in three rows. And spare parts of each cross-bow are inter-changeable. The machines for launching arrows were designed elaborately. They could help soldiers shoot easily.


Cross-bows in the Qin Dynasty
In the third excavation of Pit One, nearby a corridor, archeologists unearthed a cross in relatively good condition. The bowstring was still clearly visible with a diameter of about 0.8 centimeters. Archeologists diagnosed it was not made of braided materials for its smooth surface. That was the first clear bowstring have ever found in the excavation of Terracotta warriors and horses. After careful observation and analysis, the bowstring was diagnosed as animal vein.
Several completely preserved bows and arrows were also found in Pit One. Many arrows used by soldiers in the Qin Dynasty were discovered in terracotta pits. Usually they were put in portable cases fore holding arrows. This time a set of complete cross and bow were discovered. And some painted colors are still seeable in different parts of the bow. Some colors like black and red can be read easily.
Archeologists believe that some models of the actual crows and bows in the Qin Dynasty can be made out of the cross-bows unearthed. On basis of mechanical principle and the base on principle of mechanical design, the shooting range of a cross-bow can be calculated. So people will get a right knowledge of the strong battle force of the Qin army.
Cross-bows are mainly made of bamboo or timber. Those materials have already decayed, leaving today only some arrow heads and bronze trigger of cross-bows. Archeologists did a research on these triggers and found they are principally same in structure, which indicates these triggers were cast in the same or almost identical moulds and finally finished with manly or mechanical polishing. With the help of microscope, archeologists found there are traces of manly polishing on every trigger, and the size of triggers’ components are also in many similar kinds. Components of every trigger are not inter-changeable. If the components were cast in flow line production, they would be completely the same, and there would be no any difference in size and shape. So it can be seen that in the Qin Dynasty, manufacturing technique was not developed enough to produce in flow line.
Except for the polishing traces on these model components, there is no any other wearing trace. That shows though these cross-bows are actual weapons, they have never been used in a real combat. Instead, they were made especially as mortuary objects of the mausoleum of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang.