1. Though terracotta warriors of Xian district in China are one of the most significant archaeological excavations of the twentieth century. It is believed that Qin Shihuangdi (221-207 BC), considered the first emperor of China, ordered the creation of around 7000 life-size clay soldiers in 201 BC to guard his tomb for eternity. The emperor is believed to have unified China during his reign and hence, this army is also considered to be a commemoration of his victories.
2. The sculptures were discovered by a group of farmers in 1974 to the east of Xi’an in the Shaanxi province. While digging a well, the workers found three pits filled with the lifelike figures, which were made of a type of terracotta clay. Experts say that long ago, Emperor Shihuangdi ordered the creation of the clay army, along with a 20-square-mile tomb to house it. Apart from life-size statues of soldiers and horses, weapons which were found such as swords, spears, battle-axes, shields, crossbows, and arrowheads were found to be sharp, coated with chromium oxide which made them resistant to rust and corrosion even after being buried for more than 2000 years.
3. Shen Maosheng, from the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, said that archaeologists had located another 11 warriors but had not yet begun to excavate or dig up the sculptures.
4. Today, people from around the world visit China to see these terracotta warriors each of whose figures is individually carved. So they have different hairstyles, expressions, and facial features. Inside the pit, the statues are arranged by military rank which means that the higher the rank, the taller is the statue. As the lower half of each soldier is made of solid clay with the upper half being hollow, the figures remain upright.
5. The discovery of the terracotta army is significant as it helps us to understand the economic and social history of that period along with the military hierarchy that existed during that time.
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