Qin Terracotta Warriors, China
Arguably the most incredible archaeological excavation of the 20th century, the Qin Terracotta Warriors Mausoleum is one of China’s most impressive historical sites. Built as protection for China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the army were built and designed to protect the Emperor in the afterlife. He must have felt he needed a lot of protection, as an estimated 8,000 soldiers, chariots and horses have been recovered from 3 pits first uncovered by a group of peasants who were digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. Little did they know they were about to unearth a Chinese scale model army built which dates back to 200 BC. Walking through the hordes of life-size and lifelike warriors built over 2,200 years ago is a truly magical and surreal experience. Arranged in military formation, the sight transports you back to the ancient warring states period of which Qin orchestrated over. Every figure features different facial features and expression, and even different clothing and hairstyles which makes them seem even more realistic.
Where is it?
Located in central-eastern China, in the Shaanxi Province. The Warriors are situated close to Xian city, argued to be the root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties.
What is it?
This Mausoleum is one of the greatest archaeological finds in the world for its sheer size, its detail and its staggering age. In December 1987, UNESCO rightly selected the Tomb of the First Emperor and the Terracotta Army Vaults as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Best time to visit?
Visit from March to June, before the rainy season arrives in July and August.
The Exhibition of Bronze Chariots is a must, displaying two Bronze carriages which are the biggest pieces of ancient bronze ware ever found in the world. They have around 3,400 parts each, and had over 1,700 pieces of golden and silver ornaments. This staggering detail is married with four epic horses to draw them. Simply stunning.