Photographer's Note

The Terracotta Warriors, The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Xi’an, China.

Some history:
Chinese civilization has its roots in Shaanxi and Henan provinces where the Huang He, or Yellow River, winds its way through its fertile valleys. The Han Chinese settled this area in the 3rd century BC. Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, lies just a few miles to the west of where the Wei and Huang He converge. From Xi'an, China we know today would be formed thanks to China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. It was Emperor Qin who unified all of the warring clans into a unified nation.

Emperor Qin's tomb lies about 20 miles east of the city and is a vast and wonderful treasure to visit and explore. Peasants accidentally discovered the tomb's terracotta army in 1974 while digging a well. Today modern buildings cover the unearthed treasures and provide a protected environment for them.

Emperor Qin ordered the construction of his tomb when he was only 13 years old, an order that involved hundreds of thousands of workers and thirty-six years to complete. It is also believed that Qin ordered that the tomb workers and supervisors involved in its design be buried alive to protect its secrets.

To date three undergrounds pits, totaling 22,000 square meters, have been discovered with 8,000 life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses. Each pit lies 15 to 20 feet below current ground level and was constructed with the figures placed in corridors or rooms. These corridors, separated by earthen walls, are paved with pottery bricks on which the warriors and horses stand. Large wooden planks placed over the corridors between the earthen walls and covered by layers of mats made from fibers formed the roofing. This was then covered by earth to conceal the army's location. In the 2,000 years since its construction the roofing collapsed damaging the figures and there is evidence of fires indicating the presence of tomb robbers also.


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Additional Photos by Yitzhak Avigur (avigur_11) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3958 W: 1501 N: 3100] (22535)
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