Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.
I didn’t actually discover the Terracotta Army; Chinese farmers did in 1974. But I discovered them for myself for the first time recently, while reading my textbook for the Art History course I’m taking online. My jaw dropped as I read, and I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Look! This is amazing!”
(He already knew, of course, not only the existence of the Terracotta Army but also the emperor’s name and details about the army that my book didn’t include. Rare is the occasion when I can have the pleasure of telling him something he doesn’t already know. But perhaps I can have the pleasure of enlightening some of you!)
The Terracotta Army, sometimes called the Terracotta Warriors, is a collection of roughly 8,000 lifesize terracotta sculptures of Chinese soldiers, created approximately 246 – 210 B.C.E., that represented the army of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The sculptures were buried with the emperor in order to protect him in the afterlife. (This was a very common motif of ancient art in nearly all cultures, I’ve learned; the Egyptian pyramids are an example.) The sculptures all represented real, individual soldiers (face molds were probably used to create the sculptures’ faces) and were sorted in the tomb by rank, which is signified by the dress and other identifying features of each soldier.
This free stock photo I found doesn’t capture the impressive detail and vastness of the Terracotta Army. If you ever find yourself with an opportunity to see a museum exhibition of some of the Terracotta Army sculptures, you should go and gawk, as I will. Alternatively, the Wikipedia page has better photos than this one.
I wonder what other mind-expanding discoveries await me (and the world)?