• Pit (or Vault) # 1 - this is where you can see the majority of terracotta warriors
    Here is how the story goes: because of the 1974 drought the local peasants were digging a well and instead of water they found terracotta soldiers, horses and chariots after being buried for 2174 years...
  • Pit (or Vault) # 1 - almost all soldiers, horses and chariots were broken into pieces
    Soon after the discovery the hangars were built over the excavation sites; at this time (2007) there are three Pits or Vaults open to the public; this is the First Vault, the oldest one...
  • Pit (or Vault) # 1 - offers the most spectacular view of the terracotta soldiers
    Pit # 1 is the largest, contains 6000 of the total of 8000 soldiers and horses; the huge area (227m by 61m) is awe inspiring. The infantrymen are arranged in 11 corridors. All soldiers face east, towards their emperor's tomb...
  • Pit (or Vault) # 1 - all soldiers are life-size (1.7-1.8m) in height
    Soldier's individual faces are modeled on the faces of actual soldiers in the emperor's army - no two soldiers have the same face. They carry real weapons.
  • Pit (or Vault) # 1 - only 1000 of the 6000 soldiers have been pieced together and shown here
    Originally all the soldiers and the horses were painted in bright colours; generals' robe was green, infantry had black armor, ears and nostrils of their horses: as red as blood! Chinese first crossbow and brick wall were discovered here.
  • Pit # 1 - heads and hands were moddeled separately and attached to mass-produced bodies
    The rank of the soldiers is determined based on what uniform they wear and how their hair is tied. The metal weapons were still sharp at the time of discovery and the arrowheads contained lead to make them poisonous.
  • Pit # 1 - many soldiers are re-buried after excavation...
    ...because the oxygen from the air was destroying the colours on the shattered clay pieces.
  • Pit # 1 - this is the far end of the Pit number one, Pit # 2 is next
  • Pit (Vault) # 2 - opened on October 10, 1994
    Here you can see excavation in progress; it takes years to dig up shattered clay pieces and then it takes decades to re-assemble them... computers help a little bit but still it's a very slow process.
  • Pit # 2 is smaller than Pit #1 but archeologists expected to find more warriors here
    There are four types of clay figures here: crossbowmen, charioteers, cavalry and infantry (in Vault #1 it's mostly foot soldiers). Vault # 2 was discovered in 1976 and kept covered until March of 1994.
  • Pit # 2 - everything is broken into pieces
    It is said that this scene looks more like an aftermath of a battle than the preparation for it. Which, in a sense, is true; the enemy was the time itself.
  • Pit # 2 - some of the figures unearthed in Vault # 2 are on display in glass cases
    There is strong evidence that General Xiang Yu looted the royal tomb and torched the underground vaults in 206 BC after he failed to take over the power (he was defeated by the first emperor of the Han Dynasty). All of that happened after the death of Qin Shi Huang, of course.
  • Pit # 2 - just scratching the surface...
    First, the archeologists had to remove the soil concealing the roof made of ancient timbers and mats, then they had to remove the roof itself.
  • Pit (Vault) # 3 - that's the smallest vault, housing the headquarters with 68 senior officers
    Higher ranking officers stand taller than those of lower rank.
  • Pit (Vault) # 3 - Generals are clad in war robes...
    ...double-tailed caps and square shoes turned up at the toes. The wooden chariots and it's four horses wait in attendance.
  • Pit (Vault) # 3 - the royal steeds of Qin Shi Huang army
    ...are believed to be modeled on the desert horses of Gansu Province.
  • Some of the figures unearthed in Vault 2 are on display in glass casses
    ... just as you enter the Vault 1 , close to the ticket office, this is the cavalryman and his horse.
  • Foot soldier?
  • High-ranking officer (General)
  • Middle-ranking officer
  • Kneeling archer
    our guide told us this was the only soldier among the thousands unearthed which was intact; somehow he survived unharmed while the others got smashed into pieces..
  • Kneeling archer - side view
  • Bronze chariot in the Exibition Hall (located to the left of Vault 1)
    The two bronze chariots that you can see were found in the 8m deep pit, 18m west of the base of Qin Shi Huang's burial mound. They are believed to be the models (half life-sized) of the actual royal chariots. This is The High Chariot, with the bronze umbrella and short cart.
  • Bronze chariot in the Exibition Hall
    This is The Comfortable Chariot and this chariot was designed to carry concealed passengers. There are many more interesting things to be discovered in this area of Xi'an, this is just the beginning.
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