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Terracotta Army- Xi'an China

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  • Terracotta Army- Xi'an China

    When I was a kid I remember reading a National Geographic article about the Terracotta Warriors, and the idea of thousands of life sized figurines standing in line for 2000 years just really stuck with me.

    Over the Christmas holidays we visited a bunch of cities in inland china and I got a chance to see them in person. The Wikipedia link has some more factual information, but here a couple of pictures I took on my phone.




  • #2
    This is the main view when you enter the largest of the three burial pits.
    The soldiers are lined up in formation, the pits extend beyond the area of the dome that covers it.

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    They were originally buried in a hollow chamber, holding weapons. It is thought that pretty early on the weapons were looted by the army because there was a shortage of swords and bows as there was a rush to complete the army for the burial, and then a subsequent ruler burned the support structure from the inside which caused the roof and mound to collapse crushing most of the warriors.


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    The archaeologist and crews on the site have spent hundreds of thousands of hours digging out and then restoring the soldiers. They take the pieces from one area, put them in a tote labeled so it can be positioned again, and then they rebuild the figures on a metal and wood framework. Occasionally where the figures fell over, there could be a couple of pieces from multiple figures mixed together. A crew of mostly women sat there piecing them back together again.

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    • #3
      This is part of the midden/roof that covers them. One of the guides mentioned that some of the technology and methods developed for excavating this site was used to recover earthquake victims where large buildings collapsed and pancaked down into a rubble pile.

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      We also went to a panda center where they breed pandas. It was neat to see a hundred or so pandas from the size of a shoe up to full grown bear size.
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      • #4
        Can't imagine walking in there and seeing that first hand. It makes you wonder why. To show off wealth? As protection in the other world? Watched about this on PBS and they said each face is unique, that in itself is amazing.
        Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

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        • #5
          I’d have loved to been with you folks ! Prehaps I’m off but I remember something about the weapons were infused with meteorite compounds..Razor sharp even today..Would that be a job or what sitting up at night watching the skies then searching for a meteorite to use in weapons..Prehaps a bounty for a meteorite ...Amazing !

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          • CMD
            CMD commented
            Editing a comment
            Meteorite collector here. Not sure that's accurate. Also bear in mind the overall majority of meteorites that fall to earth are stony meteorites. Irons, while the type the public associates with meteorites, are a small minority of falls. Irons are easier to spot long after fall, i.e. cold finds, because they are easier to recognize then stony meteorites. A person can expect to sit longer then a long life without actually witnessing the fall of any meteorite. Most fall in the ocean.

          • Lindenmeier-Man
            Lindenmeier-Man commented
            Editing a comment
            I knew there was something about their swords. The people handling the weapons often got severe cuts as they were razor sharp.I went back and searched and found that some of the swords were coated with chromium oxide, with up to 2% chromium..The delema was and is , how did they do it .Some Chinese swords ( burial Goods)have been found to have been infused with meteor dust but this was more prominent in Japan..This was from a 2003 documentary

        • #6
          WOW thanks for the trip. Better pics of what I wanted to see than I've ever seen. Joshua, what are or is in those long dirt rows between the lines of soldiers?? More undug?
          Professor Shellman

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          • #7
            I'm with Tom. Really revealing photos of that army. Great that you got to visit the site!

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            • #8
              They just had something on TV about this and it was pretty spectacular to think about anything at this scale .
              I have to compliment you on your share and pictures .
              They are truly much better then what the channel had to offer . Really going to take a good look at this ,
              Its great ...

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