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16 Unknown Terracotta Army Facts – History & Myths of Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Army Facts

The terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is one of the most remarkable archeological discoveries in history. Discovered in 1974, the existence of a vast terracotta army of thousands of life-sized warriors, chariots and horses continues to fascinate people around the world. It was discovered by Chinese farmers near the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, it is believed that this collection of life-sized terracotta sculptures was built to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

This article will explore 16 interesting terracotta army facts, from its mysterious origin to its iconic legacy. We’ll cover everything from its history and significance to some myths related to it.

Unknown Terracotta Army Facts

Fact 1: Terracotta Army is one of The Top Archaeological Discovery of the 20th Century

The Terracotta Army is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. These ancient relics, discovered in 1974 by a group of Chinese farmers in the Shaanxi province in China. These are believed to have been created around 210 BC for the first Emperor of China– Qin Shi Huang.

This remarkable discovery consists of more than 8,000 lifelike terracotta statues and over 130 chariots that were meant to guard his tomb and accompany him in his afterlife. Researchers believe that this terracotta army was crafted by an estimated 700,000 skilled workers over a span of three decades!

The detailed craftsmanship and complexity behind these warrior statues demonstrate just how advanced artistry was during this period.

Fact 2: It Was Constructed Over 2,200 Years Ago

Terracotta warriors were constructed over 2200 years ago and are one of the largest archaeological findings in the world. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fact 3: There Were no Historical Records of Them Existing

The terracotta army has long been considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history. But while the terracotta army may be well known today, there were no historical records of the existence of the warriors prior to their discovery in 1974.

The first recorded mention of the terracotta warriors was made by a Chinese farmer named Yang Zhifa who stumbled across them while digging a well. The discovery was made quite by accident and initial reports suggested that there were only a few dozen soldiers buried at the site. It was not until archaeologists began excavating that they discovered thousands more figures hidden underground.

Fact 4: They Were Part of The First Emperor’s Search for Immortality

Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, wished for immortality. He amassed a huge underground kingdom, outfitted with everything he would need for the afterlife, and spent a tremendous amount of money doing so. He had palaces, an army to defend him, horses for transportation, stables full of horses, performers, and even his concubines. It is the world’s biggest burial site, encompassing a total area of 56 square kilometers.

Fact 5: The Terracotta Warrior Figures Were an Early Feat of Mass-production

Warriors were made in workshops by government workers and local craftsmen. Administrators, craftsmen, and foremen are among the warriors’ stamp or name makers. The bodies of each warrior were constructed piece by piece, starting with the feet and ending with the head, which was forged and fired separately. Before the figure was dried and then fired in a gigantic kiln, sculptural details such as hair, facial features, and clothing were added by hand.

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Fact 6: The Warriors Were Actually Painted

Many people do not know that the faces of each warrior were actually painted.
The vast terracotta army consists of thousands of life-size warriors each with unique facial features and expressions. Thanks to recent advances in technology, scientists have been able to confirm that these figures originally had brightly painted faces. Tests conducted on fragments from some of the statues revealed traces of red and black pigments. This confirms that the warriors were individually decorated with different colors or patterns on their face at one time or another during their long existence.

Fact 7: The Warriors Carried Real Weapons

Each warrior with full battle armor and weapons. But what may come as a surprise to some is that these weapons weren’t just for show – they were real.

The terracotta warriors carried spears, crossbows, swords, halberds and daggers made out of bronze and copper alloys. Archaeologists have also uncovered large numbers of arrowheads suggesting that some soldiers may have even been equipped with bows or slingshots. This suggests that Emperor Qin Shi Huang was not only concerned about protecting his tomb from grave robbers but also any potential military threats to his empire after death.

Fact 8: The First Emperor’s Tomb Has Never Been Opened

As Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s actual tomb is still sealed, archaeologists and historians are speculating on what it might be. The tomb mound has been geo-physically surveyed, but no excavation work has been done on the mausoleum itself. Sima Qian, a Han dynasty historian, describes palaces and scenic towers for a hundred officials as well as several rare artifacts and treasures in his description of the tomb.
The tomb also included mercury, which was used to simulate the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China’s two most important rivers. The heavenly constellations were painted on the vault ceiling to enhance the effect. Qin Shi Huang’s empire could be perpetuated in the afterlife from here.

Fact 9: It is a Formation of Ancient Defense System

The terra cotta army consists of thousands of life-size terracotta figures that form an ancient defense system for the tomb. The figurines represent real soldiers from China’s past and vary in size depending on their ranks within the military hierarchy. They depict infantrymen equipped with weapons such as swords, spears, bows, and arrows. Cavalrymen with horses; chariots; generals; and even officials such as doctors or musicians.

Fact 10: Terracotta Warriors Described as “The Eighth Wonder of The World”

The Terracotta Warriors are an archaeological marvel that have been described by many as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Former French President Jacques Chirac hailed the Terracotta Army as the Eighth Wonder of the World in September 1987.

Jacques Chirac said: “There were Seven Wonders in the world, and the discovery of the Terracotta Army. We may say, is the eighth miracle of the world. No one who has not seen the pyramids can claim to have visited Egypt, and now I’d say that no one who has not seen these terracotta figures can claim to have visited China.”

Fact 11: This Museum Mainly Consists of Three Vaults

One of the unknown terracotta army facts is, it consists of three vaults. It is a home to thousands of life-sized terracotta warriors and horses.
Vaults 1 and 2 are located at ground level while Vault 3 is a few meters below the surface. Vault 1 contains more than 6000 figures including infantrymen, archers, chariots and cavalrymen all standing guard to protect Emperor Qin Shihuang’s tomb. Vault 2 hosts over 1000 statues of war chariots while Vault 3 holds a collection of bronze birds, animals and weapons like swords, spears and crossbows used by ancient Chinese armies.

Fact 12: It Also Contains Chariots, Horses, Musicians, Acrobats, and Concubines

Terracotta warriors are some of the most iconic artifacts found here at this museum. But this ancient museum also contains a vast array of artifacts from more than 2,000 years ago, including terracotta warriors and soldiers, chariots and horses, musicians and acrobats, as well as concubines. It represents a complete army almost 3 square kilometers large!

Fact 13: Over 700,000 Laborers Worked 40 Years to Complete the Statues

The Terracotta Army of China is one of the world’s most amazing archaeological discoveries. Over 700,000 laborers worked tirelessly for 40 years to complete this incredible feat – an immense collection of terracotta statues created to protect the first emperor of China in his afterlife.

Fact 14: Each Terracotta Figure Have Unique Face & Hairstyle

The warriors are life-sized, with each figure having a unique face and hairstyle. Astonishingly, they were made without any machinery or technology – all work was done by hand using simple tools from the time. It is thought that craftsmen were brought from different parts of China to create such intricate details on the warrior statues, adding further to their level of detail and complexity.

Fact 15: More Terracotta Figures May come!

There are now four pits in total, with three of them yielding terracotta sculptures. Never assume that the site is limited to that. Qin Shi Huang’s tomb, which covers over 56 square kilometers, is home to only a portion of the army. The majority of it has yet to be discovered. Terra-cotta figurines are still being excavated and restored. Further terracotta figurines are set to be discovered.

Fact 16: Over Couple Millions of Tourists Visit This Museum Each Year

The Terracotta Army Museum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in China. Every year millions of tourists flock to the museum to take in its remarkable collection of clay warriors and other artifacts from the Qin Dynasty. The Terracotta Army Museum is a must-see for any traveler wishing to gain an appreciation for Chinese history and culture.

At present, it’s estimated that around 7 million visitors travel to the Terracotta Army Museum annually. Since its opening in 1979, this awe-inspiring archaeological site has become increasingly popular with both domestic and international tourists alike. Visitors have access to a range of terracotta warrior facts as well as other educational offerings such as lectures and guided tours about Chinese history and culture held by professional guides. Additionally, inside the museum there are plenty of souvenir items available for purchase ranging from terracotta replicas to postcards.


The Terracotta Army is a remarkable display of ancient Chinese ingenuity and craftsmanship. It continues to captivate people from around the globe who flock to Xian to experience it for themselves. With its abundance of fascinating facts and mysterious myths, the Terracotta Army is sure to remain an enigma for many years to come.

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