One of the very first artifacts that I saw walking into the museum was that of this carriage driver. He was standing in front of a photo that showed the actual recovery site with the original soldiers standing in place. The media reported that there was a patron that damaged (I believe) this figure by breaking off his thumb and taking it home. The police reportedly went to the perpetrator’s home and retrieved the thumb. The Chinese government is understandably upset.
These guys are life size. They originally were colorfully painted as a few of them were seemingly restored so that we could see how they would have appeared prior to burial. Most of the soldier were intact, however…
…there were some that were obviously damaged.
This soldier was obviously completely restored. He and a number of the soldiers were close to six feet in height.
This is the “Kneeling Archer,” it is believed that he was buried with a wooden crossbow.
This is the “Standing Archer,” he also would have had a wooden crossbow.
There was a miniature display of very small figurines that sequentially showed how these statutes were made. Much like a puzzle they were put together and it just may have been an assembly line of various workers doing what they do so that they can complete these magnificent creations.
We are looking at two carriages here with two separate team of horses. Looking at the detail one could see that the emperor fully expected to travel in comfort in the afterlife.
A sample of riders on horses.
The story of the Terracotta Warriors is an intriguing one. Qin Shihuangdi, the first emperor of China reportedly had over 700,000 of his citizens make the 8,000 statues which took somewhere between 11-14 years to complete. He had them made and buried with him so that they could protect him in the afterlife. I was awestruck by the entire event. Each soldier was similar to a fingerprint, in that no two solders were exactly alike and as I understand it there were thousands of them made. The display reflects only a small sampling of the artifacts from the dig, however, one would need to actually see the exhibit and read and listen to the curation in order to fully appreciate this.
The Terracotta Warriors were at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia but they have moved on. I believe there is a permanent display in China and you can locate their site on-line. However, if you wish to contact the Franklin Institute for more information regarding this display please contact them at:
The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103