The Arts



Museum of Terra- Cotta Warriors and Horses



The well-known Terra-cotta Museum is located east of Emperor Qin's Mausoleum, which covers a total area of 20 hectares. It is the largest on- site museum in China and one of the largest modern archaeological sites in the world. The museum is decorated with verdant trees, blooming flowers and carpets of green grass. The scenery in the museum looks quite elegant and delightful. Three main buildings of the museum, which were named Pit 1, Pit 2, Pit 3, were constructed on their original sites in different periods of time.

The Emperor Qin's Terra-cotta Museum, Xi'an.
Fig 1

It was on March 29,1974, when local farmers of XiYang Village, Ling Tong Country, were drilling a series of wells in search of water, pottery fragments and ancient bronze weapons were discovered accidentally. The head of the village reported the news to the local government at once. The news aroused much attention from both local government and National Cultural Relics Bureau. With government approval, an archaeological team from Shaanxi Province arrived at the site on July 17,1974 and began their explorations and QinShihuang's Terra-cotta Museum was opened to the public. By the time of the opening ceremony, archaeologists have excavated the area of 2,000 square meters in Pit 1 and some 1,087 terra-cotta warriors and horses were displayed there after restoration. The village which used to be never known by outside, usually quiet, became restless since then. The archaeological wonder discovered here came as a shock to the country as well as to the whole world. Following the discovery of Pit 1,Pit 2 and Pit 3 were brought to light in April and May of 1976. Pit 3 was opened in 1989. Pit 2 started to be excavated in March 1994 and was opened in October the same while it was being excavated. Besides three pits, two sets of bronze chariots and horses discovered in the west of Emperor Qin's Mausoleum in December in 1980,were on display in the museum after restoration.

In the last 20 years, the terra-cotta Museum has developed and become the largest on-site museum in China. The museum staff has increased. More and more valuable cultural relics have been unearthed successively. The archaeological research is fruitful. Pit 1 is a huge arch-domed steel structure, located at the center of the museum with an area of 16,000 square meters. The other two pits were built in Qin and area of 17,934 and 1,694 square meters respectively. The multiple exhibition halls lies to the east of Pit 2, covering a series of exhibits, such as two sets of bronze chariots and horses, the new findings from the Emperor Qin's Mausoleum, the history of the Museum and all kinds of temporary exhibits. These displays systematically depict the history of the Qin Dynasty from 221 BC-206 BC and ca help the views to have a better understanding on the Terra-cotta Warriors and horses. The south of Pit 1 is a circle vision hall. The movie inside lasts 20 minutes and provides vivid materials for telling the story of Emperor Qin and his Terra-cotta Army 2,200 years ago. The halls on the northwest of Pit 3, Which covers 4,282 square meters, are the multiple service halls where the visitors can have meal, do shopping and take a rest.

Emperor Qin's Terra-cotta Museum is not only a treasure house where the tourists can learn history, culture and human civilization, but also a main scenic spot of Xi'an city. It can receive about 1.5 million tourists annually. Approximately 40 million visitors from home and abroad have visited the Museum within the last 20 years. Today "the eighth Wonder of the world" has almost become synonym of the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses In 1987, the Emperor Qin's Mausoleum was put on the list of the UNESCO as a world-class cultural heritage site. Now the Museum is well-known widely as a huge modern on-site museum and it is going to be one of the best in the world.



The Arts :: Museums and Galleries

Dashanzi Art District | Guangdong Provincial Museum | The National Palace Museum, Taipei | The Palace Museum, Beijing | The National Museum of China | Museum of Terra- Cotta Warriors and Horses




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