Monday, July 28, 2008

Amazing Piece of History

(a pose with a pseudo-TerraCotta Warrior- no photos allowed inside as always)

It was very remarkable to see some pieces of the past (2000 years ago) and the amazingly perfect conditions of the famous TerraCotta Army at the Bowers Museum today. It was such a wonderful tour as I really loved History. You know, I worked in Taiwan for 4 years and to be honest, I have been very amazed at how they pay reverence to their culture and traditions. It struck me the most at how they judge punishment and crime. As long as you admit it’s your fault (although it might not be the truth), you pay a little punishment for that. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but that’s how it works. It was even funny when a good friend (Taiwanese) said that Filipinos don’t seem to get really scared at their Gods because their Gods have lovely faces (he meant the sculpture of the Saints & Jesus) and how Chinese are so terrified to commit sins because their Gods looked so daunting.

Anyway, according to Wikipedia:
The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art buried with the Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 209-210 BC (his reign over Qin was from 247 BC to 221 BC and unified China from 221 BC to the end of his life in 210 BC). Their purpose was to help rule another empire with Shi Huang Di in the afterlife.
The Terracotta Warriors were discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling water well to the east of Lishan (Mount Li). Mount Li is also where the material to make the terracotta warriors originated. In addition to the warriors, an entire man-made necropolis for the emperor has been excavated. The figures vary in height (184–197cm - 6ft–6ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the Generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.
The terracotta figures were manufactured both in workshops by government laborers and also by local craftsmen. The head, arms, legs and torsos were created separately and then assembled. Once assembled the intricate features such as facial expressions were added. The terracotta figures are life-like and life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The colored lacquer finish, individual facial features, and replica weapons and armor used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance.
There is evidence of a large fire that burned the wooden structures that once housed the Terracotta Army. It was described by Sima Lian, who said that the fire was a consequence of a raid on the tomb by General Xiang Yu less than five years after the death of the First Emperor. Despite the fire, however, much of the remains of the Terracotta Army still survive in various stages of preservation, surrounded by remnants of the burnt wooden structures.

Archaeologists continue to excavate the burial site of Emperor Qin. His actual tomb has not been excavated. Buried for over two thousand years, more than six thousand life-size terracotta warriors and horses were unearthed in 1974 and presently, it is regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the world. Now, I know why!
Shawie

5 Grateful Heart's Words:

AZ Blogging said...

Wow, that's amazing.
I have never touched such piece of old valuable arts before as our museums here can afford for them ( :D )

Did you say 2000 years? That's incredible

the donG said...

very interesting! i never knew it was that many. i think i really need to read more about it.

so lucky to have seen those statues.

Shawie said...

they are really very amazing:) to think that there's been a lot of those statues and the details are still so clear for over 2000 years been buried...

Selerines said...

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Joy said...

Oh Wow,, that is so Awesome!!! good on yah..