1. Location of the Qin Emperor’s tomb
Emperor Qin’s mausoleum is situated at the northern foot of Mount Li, on the southern bank of the Wei River, some 35 kilometers east of Xi’an city.
(1).Why was the Emperor Qin’s tomb built there?
The capital of the Qin dynasty was the city of Xianyang which sits 30 km northwest of Xi’an, the tomb itself is 35 km east of Xi’an. From Xianyang Palace to the tomb is approximately 65 km.
Why did Emperor Qin chose this place for his tomb?
(a) In 770 B.C., to the west of Xi’ an, the first capital of the Qin state was established in Gansu province near the city of Tianshui. In 335 B.C. the
Qin capital moved eastward to Xianyang. ....
(b)According to Taoist tradition, the south of the mountain is ”Yang”, the north of the mountain is ”Yin”......
(c) A few kilometers east of the tomb, the mountain and river begin getting closer ,....
(d) The southern side of Mount Li is famous for gold and the north of the mountain for jade. ......
(2). The First Emperor of China and his mausoleum.
Yingzheng was born in 259 B.C. and became the King of the Qin State in 246 B.C. at the age of 13. He was formally crowned and began to handle the state affairs himself in 238 B.C. at the age of 22. In 230 B.C. he began warring with the other six states: .....
2. The Terracotta Warriors pits and other attendant pits.
The mausoleum is located about 7.5 km east of Ling Tong, and 35km east of Xi’an city, it covers around 56 square km.
3. How were the 3 pits discovered?
In April 23, 1976 Xu Bao Shan, a worker from the Third Construction Company in Shaanxi Province, just 20 meters north of the original pit, found some rammed earth and bricks along with a paved floor while digging the foundation for the dormitory building. He immediately reported what he had found to the leader of his company who passed the news to .......
4 Why is the army facing East?
The terracotta army was found 1.5 km east of the tomb and they are all facing East. But why not bury them facing other directions?
Before Emperor Qin unified China, there were six other states to the East ...
5.How did the warriors get burnt and destroyed?
When we found the warriors in 1974, they were buried 6-7 meters deep underground. Originally, there was a 3.5 meters high wooden ceiling which covered all of the warriors. The archaeologists think there are 3 meters of dirt on top of the ceiling. Furthermore the wooden ceiling was burnt 2,200 years ago and almost all the figures and horses were found broken.
Sima Qian’s “Records of History” indicates that Emperor Qin’s palaces were destroyed and burnt by the rebellions in 206 B.C. The archaeologists think that the rebels needed weapons ,so they opened the pits, took the weapons away, then set a fire and destroying them.
One question this begs is that if the wooden ceiling was buried three meters underground for many years,the wood would most likely be wet and/or rotten. How can you burn rotten and wet wood, especially underground where there is sure to be little if any oxygen?
My opinion is that the ground level here was much lower 2,200 years ago. The warriors, in my opinion, were buried half underground with the ceiling one meter above the ground in the open air. This would resemble a very normal house of the time. I furthermore believe that once the emperor was pronounced dead his son or some high-ranking official
ordered the mausoleum to be burned.
In China, the oldest religious tradition, dating back even before the time of the First Emperor, is Daoism. According to Daoism, the only way to send objects to the dead is by burning them as a sacrifice.This tradition persists even today, as people continue to burn paper money, horses, cars, etc., as offerings to their loved ones who have passed away.
I think the same thing happened 2,200 years ago. The Emperor Qin had ordered more than one million people to work for nearly 40 years and spent a lot of money to build his underground army, surely he wanted to make sure that all this work would benefit him in the afterlife. The only way he could be sure, according to Daoism, was to burn everything that had been prepared. Many new pits such as the Stone Armor pit, Acrobats’ pit have all been found in this same burnt state. This leads me to believe that the pits in
this whole area were burnt at the same time.
To the south of the mausoleum, there is a mountain. On this mountain there was once a forest.It is said that after the mausoleum was completed the forest in the mountain disappeared. This is primarily due to the fact that the trees from the mountain forest were the ones used to build the mausoleum. With no trees to help keep the soil on the
mountain in place, when the heavy rains came the water brought the mud down hill into the valley in which the mausoleum was built. The warriors were buried deeper and deeper, and the water made the section-earth-wall,which supported the wood ceiling, wet and soft. Eventually, the ceiling caved in and all the warriors were broken.
Almost all the warriors found here were broken into pieces, but the flank guards in pit 1 and the kneeling archers in pit 2 were intact. The flank guards were situated on the edges of the pit where the pressure would have been less intense. The kneeling archers, who sit lower than the rest of the army and may in fact have been already partially buried by flood material by the time they were buried were also in better shape upon discovery.
There are more than 7,600 warriors and horses in the three pits, only 2,200 had been excavated as well as over 40,000 bronze weapons, which means there are more than 5,400 warriors still buried with about 100,000 weapons. If the pits had been opened during the rebellion, they would have looted all the weapons here. Therefore it doesn’t seem likely that they looted the pits.
The terrain around Xian is mostly loess, a special kind of silt or clay. People in this region have been living in the caves for several thousand years, and there are still more than 40 million people living in caves around Shaanxi province. I think the people who built the tomb lived in the caves as well. If the Emperor had indeed wanted the figures safely buried underground it would have been much more reasonable and secure to place them in caves rather than bury them under a wooden ceiling. Why did they build a wooden ceiling and not dig a cave which would have been cheaper, easier and would have lasted longer? Because the wood is the material to be burnt after the funeral.
According to my understanding of ancient Chinese religions, practices and historical traditions, it would seem to me that the Emperor ordered the complex to be burned as a rite to his spirit after his death, and the warriors were damaged by the ceiling collapsing.
Terracotta is a Italian word which means baked or fired earth,it is a kind of reddish-brown pottery.
6. The square battle formation of pit 1
The 3 rows of warriors come to a total of 204 In the front ,they are called the vanguards. They consist of one officer and ten warriors with spears, the rest are all bowmen in robe. If an enemy came they would shoot arrows first, when the enemy got closer, the bowmen moved back. The warriors behind the bowmen would advance with their spears and halberds in hand to fight...
7. Why weren’t the warriors found until 1974?
There are no historical records remaining concerning the terracotta warriors that we know of. The Emperor Qin didn’t want anyone to know about the treasures buried around his tomb so he destroyed all of the evidence of their existence. They were officially discovered 2,200 years later by farmers but we are sure that the locals found them many times before this.
This corner was the ...
Why were the warriors found in 1974? The first reason is that there were six farmers digging the well at that time. It is very difficult to keep a secret when six people know about it. Second, it was the end of Chairman Mao’s era and of the Culture Revolution,...
7 The army headquarters of the warriors
This is pit three which was opened to visitors in September 1989. This pits “U” shape covers 500 square meters and it is the smallest pit of the three.
With only 68 figures and four horses it is small in size but not in significance. From here the other two pits receive their instructions so without this pit the others would be useless.
(1) Who is the commander of the army ?
We cannot find a special figure ---- commander of the army within the remains of the mausoleum.
In Qin Dynasty, if .....
(2) How did pit 3 control the other two pits?
There are four horses and four officers here, the officers were originally standing on a wooden chariot. Due to the limited space there are usually only two or three officers on one chariot. So why did they put four in one chariot on this occasion?
There are three officers in one line, the one in the middle is the charioteer. The one to his right is a drummer, originally there was a drum in front of him as well as two drumsticks in his hands. The beats of the drum means move forward or attack the enemy ...
8. The function of pit four
Pit four is empty and lies between pit two and pit three. It is 96 meters from north to south and 98 meters from east to west. Archaeologists regard pit one as the right army and pit two as the left army. Pit four is the middle army. It was left unfinished ,some say due to the peasant uprising four years after Emperor Qin’s death.
But the terracotta army was very important to Emperor Qin and it seems he would have wanted to complete the army before building other pits housing the stable men, acrobats, stone armour, musicians, etc. It makes no sense why he would have stopped working on the army in order to make these pits.....
9. The goose-flying battle formation of the three pits.
Pit three is the army headquarters. Pit one with 6,000 infantry, holds the main force of the army, what the strategists call the regulars, or “zheng “. Pit two consists of light chariots, war chariots with foot soldiers, cavalrymen and archers, what the strategists call the reservists, or “qi“.
If the enemy came, ....
10 The “Four Deities” battle formation of pit 2
Pit two was discovered in April 1976 and opened to public in October of 1994. It’s “L” shape covers an area of 6,000 Square meters. You can still see traces of the wooden ceiling which have been moved in the other two pits, most of the warriors are still buried under the ceiling.
Pit two is made up of four smaller battle formations: light chariots to the right, war chariots with foot soldiers in the middle, cavalry to the left and archers at the north east corner.
Light chariots, ...so I have named the battle formation that uses them the “White Tiger” battle formation.
War chariots with foot soldiers: The war chariots
carried one charioteer, ....so they have been called the “Black Turtle” battle formation.
Cavalry: There are 108 cavalrymen in three columns. Each
column is led by ..... so this is the “Green Dragon” battle formation.
Archers: There are total 334 figures in this section,160 kneeling archers were arranged in four columns in the middle. They were surrounded by 172 standing archers. One officer and one general led this troop...This formation has been called the “Scarlet Bird” battle formation.
The “Scarlet Bird” in the front, “Black Turtle” in the rear, “Green Dragon” to the left, and the “White Tiger” to the right together all form what is known as a “Four Deities” battle formation or in Chinese “qianzhuque,houxuanwu,zuoqinglong,youbaihu” or
11 Why did they arrange the “Scarlet Bird” ----archers on the north east corner and not in the middle? How did the standing archers on the north, south and west lines shoot their arrows since the kneeling archers were surrounded by the standing ones?
Pit two is the reservists part of pit one, the archers just defend the east and north since pit one is to its south. If the archers were arranged in the middle, it would have been difficult to protect the north, and they would have blocked the
chariots and foot soldiers. So the archers were arranged on the north east corner and ...12. How did the archeologists find the edge of the pits
before they were fully excavated? Are there more warriors buried under the building or under your feet?
When the archaeologists checked the size of the pits, they used a special tool called “ Luoyang Chan” to drill a hole, and took some samples of the earth. If they drilled ....
13. The terracotta figures in pit two.The kneeling archers were all intact when
unearthed. Most of them still have colors on their...
14. The history of Emperor Qin’s family
As early as the Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.), a nomadic tribe called the “Ying” family lived in the western part of China. They later became the stableman for the kings of Zhou and “Qing” and many family members became the charioteers for the kings of Zhou due to their skills of raising and training the horses....
The family began to get stronger and expanded their territory by wars ....
Emperor Qin launched the wars to unify China in 230B.C, and founded the first centralized feudal society called “Qin” in 221 B.C. So after that the Chinese were called: “Qiner” by other countries, hence we get the name “ China ”.
15. The bronze weapons.
There have been more than 40,000 bronze weapons, mostly arrows, unearthed to date.
The weapons can be divided into 3 kinds: short weapons, long weapons, and long range weapons. Short weapons are swords and hooks. Long weapons are
spears, daggers, halberds, pi, shu and battle-axes. Long range weapons are bows and ...
17. The bronze chariots and horses.
There are two bronze chariots and eight horses that were discovered twenty meters to the west of the Emperor’s tomb mound in 1980. The bronze chariots were facing west when they were uncovered. The two chariots and horses were damaged into three thousand pieces and all fell down towards north. This means that it a flood from the south mountains that originally covered the area. It took the workmen eight years to put them back together.
The No.1 chariot and horses all togther....
18.Why was the Qin army able to conquer the other six states in 221.B.C. but then shortly after could not defeat the unarmed peasants during their uprising?
Emperor Qin was a great man but he was a tyrant as well. After Qin unified China, he did not let the people rest. He ordered 700,000 people to begin building his tomb and palaces. 300,000 people were forced to build the great wall to the north and 500,000 people were sent to garrison the frontiers to the south. After this ....