Face to Face With China's Terra Cotta Warriors

Hey, they're not called the Eighth Wonder of the World for nothin'

By Veronica Macias
|  Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 6:38 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Terra Cotta Warriors

Wang de Gang

A kneeling archer.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Terra Cotta Warriors

National Geographic displaying the Terra Cotta Warriors for the next few months
More Photos and Videos

They're considered one of China's most treasured archeological discoveries, and now 15 of the Terra Cotta Warriors have arrived at the National Geographic Museum (17th and M streets N.W.).

The figures were buried more than 2,200 years ago in the tomb of China's first emperor of the Qin dynasty, Qin Shihuangdi, to guard him in the afterlife.

Historians believe it took more than 700,000 laborers 36 years to construct the tomb complex, which covers more than 19 square miles. The warriors were accompanied by hundreds of horses, chariots and weapons.

Remarkably, there are no two warriors alike. Each of the 7,000 statues were individually crafted with personalized hair styles and distinct facial features. The average warrior is 6 feet tall and weighs between 300 and 400 pounds.

From soldiers to generals to archers and musicians, this immense army was discovered in 1974 when local farmers in the city of of Xi'an unearthed a soldier's head while digging a well.

The National Geographic exhibit "Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor," opens today and run until March 31, 2010. Sure, you'll hardly see a fraction of the total, but the 15 life-sized soldiers are -- plus other artifacts from the emperor's tomb -- should pretty much be considered absolute must-sees.

This is the soldiers' last stop in the United States before they return to China. Tickets are $12. The exhibit is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out