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Photo Friday – Mighty warriors made for heaven; and from clay

July 10, 2009

Imagine it – thousands of soliders of all ranks standing in pits of solidified clay, withstanding fire and earthquakes, living hundreds of feet deep under the ground, for thousands of years. Their mission? To protect the once mighty Emperor of China (Qin), who, was religious enough to be filled with afterlife superstition, fortunate enough to have commissioned such a wonder, and paraniod enough to keep this site hidden from China for a very long time.

Until a farmer went digging one day in 1974.

Bless the farmer for discovering this site and telling the local officials; who told the rest of the world. How much did the farmer get paid for his discovery? Around fourteen dollars (USD). How much has the Chinese government and the city of Xian made from this heritage site? Billions.

It took five years for the Chinese to release this discovery to the world, not because they were greedy, but because 99.9% of the statues were shattered and had to be reassembled — painstakingly reassembled. Thanks goes out to the archeologists involved.

There are three pits of varying sizes to be seen. The majority of soliders are located in pit one, where hundreds of visitors enthralled, intrigued, awed, and delighted, stand tightly against the central rails, fighting for a view while sharing their knowledge with each other.


Close-ups are difficult to capture without zoom lenses. Basic photography is allowed flash photography isn’t.

But I was lucky…


Getting to the Terracotta Warriors site involves a bus or taxi if you don’t want to pay for a tour. If you want to know more about the history of the Warriors, I recommend finding and using a good guide who can also get you through the crowds easier than doing it yourself. Go early morning to avoid school groups and the heat, take PLENTY of water.

More great photos and posts from the talented people posting today can be been seen @ Delicious Baby 

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. July 10, 2009 11:03 am

    very informative; As a Chinese, I have followed through some of the histories, but this one is more than a history.

  2. July 10, 2009 12:55 pm

    Wow. I’ve heard of this site, but never seen any pictures like these, especially the close-ups. China is on my wish-list but I haven’t made it there yet. Thanks for a very informative post!

  3. July 10, 2009 1:45 pm

    Amazing, I did not know this even existed. Something I must see when I’m in the area next time.

  4. July 10, 2009 2:42 pm

    WOW! Thanks for sharing the pictures…they are amazing. I want to go see this so badly!

  5. July 10, 2009 4:47 pm

    Rainfield, thought you might enjoy this ad the small tory my guide told me.

    Jen, Anil and Karen put this on your list when you can, it’s a must see, not badly priced great for all ages and something to share with friends and family.

  6. July 10, 2009 6:13 pm

    Cool. I knew about these and have seen pictures in books. I actually think that the shot with the crowds in it is really good. Shows the site as it really is.

  7. July 10, 2009 6:22 pm

    This is a really amazing post – not only for the images but the background you’ve shared. Thanks!

  8. July 10, 2009 11:03 pm

    This has to be one of the wonders of the world. China seems to hold a lot of them:)

  9. July 11, 2009 11:44 am

    Impressive! Another one for my list of wanna-dos.
    : )

  10. July 11, 2009 2:47 pm

    We were in China in 1999 but didn’t get a chance to visit this amazing site. Luckily, we were able to see part of the collection from the British museum when they came to Atlanta a few months ago. You can check out their website to see if they will have exhibit in your area soon. By no mean, it’s probably won’t give you the same affect of seeing the real site but at least it will give you some understanding about how amazing this site is.

    It’s really amazing about the sheer size of this man-made site. I think they have yet to finish excavate the whole tomb.

    What a great opportunity for you and such a great shots you have!

  11. July 12, 2009 9:06 pm

    Wow-amazing site! And that last shot is especially nice, considering the limitations you had when taking photos there.

  12. July 13, 2009 3:03 pm

    Thanks for all your comments, it is a site worth a visit especially for history buffs. And you are right China holds a lot of these places, makes me wonder just how many more there are in that country we don’t know about.

  13. July 14, 2009 2:35 pm

    This is really amazing historical site I have ever seen, I wish I went there.

  14. July 14, 2009 3:15 pm

    Samuel – I hope you do get there one day, it is worth it. Thanks for your comments.

  15. July 14, 2009 9:08 pm

    I love the photos of the terracotta soldiers. I have been to China but had not visited the terracotta site. It’s really an awesome site , even from just seeing the photographs.

    • July 15, 2009 9:17 am

      They are pretty awesome to see and there’s something I never knew about the warriors: when they were discovered they were beautifuly painted in blues and reds but the pigments faded within 30 minutes.I think that would have been wonderful to see. Hopefully the others that still remain underground will have their paint preserved in the future.

  16. July 15, 2009 2:35 pm

    Cate, lovely story and great pictures… i think i have read about this site – probably in my history. but who paid to history back in school :). wish i could have seen these places then, would have made all the text more interesting!

    i particularly like the close up photo.

    is he the only ruler who comissioned this? or was thsi afterlife concept more prevalant ?

  17. July 15, 2009 2:35 pm

    and, tx for blogrolling me.

    • July 16, 2009 2:06 pm

      You are welcome, I really like your site and posts, it’s a good way for others to find you as well.

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