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The Terracotta Warriors of Xian, China

Last updated by terry at 2008/4/1; Destinations:

You may be lucky enough to have visited the incredible temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. If you're fortunate enough, too, you may have even paid homage to the Moorish and Roman ruins of Morocco. Though your picture album spills the anecdotes of your expansive globetrotting adventures, you've not seen anything distinctly genuine until you've stood at attention to the army of Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China. With a grandeur unsurpassed, and overflowing with historical reverie to boot, the Terracotta Warriors represent a substantiated past second to none.

These warriors, though harmless in this tangible life, were built to protect and defend the great Emperor Qinshihuang (often spelled Qin Shi Huang) in the afterlife. The emperor first sat at the throne at the age of 13, around 246 BC. When he was still very young, he commissioned the building of his mausoleum and sacrificed countless hours, lives and slaves to finish it. Archaeologist and historians alike believe it took more than a decade to complete.

In 1974, some area peasants? (or farmers) were trying to dig a well. They were searching for water, but what they happened on was one of the twentieth centuries greatest buried treasure—the remnants of the Qin Dynasty. From this historic moment forward, archaeologists even today work round the clock uncovering artifacts, treasures, and buried tombs—Indiana Jones brought from the big screen to real life. Visitors have come since 1975 to see the relics of the on-site 16,000-square meter museum, divided into three parts or pits. Each pit houses life size baked earth statues of hollow men and horses with wooden chariots and weapons primed.

Before Emperor Qinshihuang was 40 years old, he had fused China into one cooperating state. The emperor, moreover, bonded the people by establishing a unified written script, a class of measurements and monetary instruments. He inaugurated an administrative government by ridding the outlying areas of ancestral chiefs. Though at worst an authoritarian, and at best a megalomaniac, the emperor's absolute control leapt China to world powerhouse status at startling speeds.??

Additionally, the emperor built roads, which increased trade, travel, industrial activity and agricultural reform. Hundreds of thousands of forced laborers worked relentlessly and died incessantly on his often successful, yet outlandish, concepts. Had Emperor Qinshihuang known, too, that his first Great Wall could be seen from the heavens, he surely would have appropriated other, perhaps astronomical, undertakings.

Paying your visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China, will have you seeing stars for days. The meticulous handicraft and novel facial characteristics attests to the impressive details given to the warriors. In the middle 80s, UNESCO listed the site as a world cultural heritage. It is rumored that some of the best artifacts and buried treasures are as of yet still unearthed. On your next visit out east, make sure to take the time to travel inland to Xian to watch archaeologist uncover the bygone dynasty that helped make China a superpower of erstwhile days.