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Terracotta warriors, China. Source: Lukas Hlavac / Adobe Stock.

The Terracotta Warriors: The Immortal Army of Ancient China (Video)


China’s first emperor, Emperor Qin, was a man so obsessed with immortality that he commissioned the creation of an army that would accompany him into the afterlife. This army was no ordinary army, but one made entirely of terracotta warriors, painstakingly handcrafted and ready for battle. Discovered by farmers in 1974 in Xian, China, these clay soldiers emerged one by one until an entire army was unearthed. The craftsmanship and style of the warriors astonished scholars, with no two statues being the same.

Each depicted an individual with its own hairstyle, facial expression, and painted details. With over 7,000 warriors, archers, cavalry, charioteers, and foot soldiers, it was one of the largest mausoleums on earth, built by a workforce of 700,000 conscripted workers over 36 years. While the purpose of each soldier's uniqueness remains a mystery, the story of Emperor Qin and his Terracotta Army is one that continues to captivate and amaze. Today, a group of these clay figures is on tour and will soon be on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, offering a rare glimpse into this ancient world.

Top image: Terracotta warriors, China. Source: Lukas Hlavac / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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