Chang'an Travel Guide

Chang'an Things to Do

  • by HKBoy Written Aug 13, 2005

    Chang'an is the old name for Xi'an.

    The Terracotta Warriors is one of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 km east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum in Shaanxi Province.

    Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in BC246), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had work begun on his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after-life.

    A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists and they came to Xi'an in droves to study and to extend the digs. They have established that these artifacts are associated with the Qin Dynasty (BC211-206).

    Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard looked like.

    The museum covers an area of 16,300 square metres, divided into 3 sections: No 1 Pit, No 2 Pit, and No 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979.

    No 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20m northeast of No 1 Pit. It contained over 1000 warriors and 90 wooden chariots. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archeologists came upon No 3 Pit also in 1976, 25m northwest of No 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command centre of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and 4 horses.

    Altogether over 7000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits.

    There is also a 4D cinema, which although looking a little tired, is an interesting visit.

    The Terracotta Warriors has put Xi'an on the map for tourists. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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