Terracotta Army

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Definition

The Terracotta Army refers to the thousands of life-size clay models of soldiers, horses, and chariots which were deposited around the grand mausoleum of Shi Huangdi, first emperor of China and founder of the Qin dynasty, located near Lishan in Shaanxi Province, central China. The purpose of the army was likely to act as guardian figures for the tomb or to serve their ruler in the next life. The site was discovered in 1974 CE, and the realistic army figures provide a unique insight into ancient Chinese warfare from weapons to armour or chariot mechanics to command structures. Shi Huangdi was desperate for immortality, and in the end, his terracotta army of over 7000 warriors, 600 horses, and 100 chariots has given him just that, at least in name and deed. The site of the mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site even if the inner tomb itself has yet to be excavated.

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