Terra Cotta Army Illustration

Terra Cotta Army
Ancient China for Kids

 
 

Can you imagine digging in your yard one day, and discovering a life-sized terracotta soldier made completely out of clay, 2000 years ago, buried in your back yard? That’s what happened in China in 1974! By the time archaeologists had finished digging, they had uncovered over 6000 life-size terracotta soldiers! Some are kneeling with terracotta bows, ready to shoot. Some are standing. Some have terracotta moustaches. Some have terracotta (clay) armor. They also found terracotta horses, spears, and chariots – all life-sized, all made out of clay. No two statues looked alike. It was an amazing discovery.

It took 720,000 (unpaid) laborers about 34 years to create this incredible grouping. They finished just in time, right around 210 BC, when First Emperor Qin died. His son, the second Qin emperor, saw to his burial.   

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