Travel Challenge: Leading Lines

Ailsa’s travel challenge this week, is ‘Leading lines’. I couldn’t for the life of me think what to post for this, other than roads, power lines or traffic jams. Then I remembered our visit to see the Terracotta Army at the Museum of Qin just outside Xian in Shaanxi Province.Β It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world’s cultural heritage sites.

I had of course heard of this amazing collection ofΒ  life-size figures of warriors and horses, but I was absolutely awestruck to actually see them in real life, standing in long lines as if ready for battle. It is said that no two faces are the same, and there are over 8,000 soldiers.

There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.

Excavations are still ongoing in the three pits in which they were discovered by local farmers in 1974. They are a form of funerary art buried with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210-209 BC. They were there to protect him in his afterlife and to make sure that he had people to rule over. I’ve heard of “ruling from the grave” but this is quite ludicrous. πŸ˜‰

My favourite sculpture is this fabulous horse-drawn carriage, sculpted in copper, which was in a glass case in the actual museum.

It will be years before all the lines of soldiers are excavated and cleaned up, but even now, one can see that the army is arrayed in a rectangular formation, all facing east. In the front there are three rows each with 210 warriors making up the front ranks.Behind them are marching soldiers and horse-drawn war chariots, making up the main body of the army. This is indeed a most amazing spectacle.

So there you have my leading lines of warriors with thousand of others bringing up the rear.


78 comments on “Travel Challenge: Leading Lines

  1. Pingback: Bohol, Philippines | The Sophomore Slump

  2. Amazing AD, how lucky that you have seen this in person. Is there a book in making of your wonderful travel?:-)

    • Yes I am very fortunate, cocoa. I think my blog could be the beginnings of a book, but all the photos would be too expensive to put into a book. πŸ˜‰

    • Well yes, but they probably got paid peanuts, or should that be ‘noodles’? πŸ™‚ The Chinese aren’t renowned for their human rights when it comes to the workers.

  3. I’ve watched this in the movie “The Mummy:Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” but I’ve never realized that these are real. So amazing. How can they even make something like this, over 8,000, it takes patience to finish this kind of art. Very nice post!

  4. Very good interpretation of the theme and so interesting. It is mind boggling to think from today’s perspective that people actually had the time to create all those figures.

    • Yes it was amazing. There are quite a few places I would still love to see. Top of my list is Russia to travel on the Trans-Siberian railway. You’ll know all about it when I get there. πŸ™‚ Hugs xx

  5. Wow, ad, what a perfect post for the theme, that first photo really conveys the majesty of the army of statues. Those horses are fabulous too! I would love to see them for myself one day. xxx Ailsa

  6. Hi AD, read that they keep finding more of these ancient burial sites in that area of China, but the one in your pics is still the biggest πŸ™‚

  7. 8,000 soldiers in grand formation. Perfect subject for the theme. Just beautiful. It’s amazing what the past can create. Can hold us totally breatheless. Thanks.

  8. Om my gulay! This is so arresting! I bet, a lot of people, like me, dream about seeing this personally upon finding out about.
    This post is so amazing. I can’t wait to feature your blig someday. It will be an ardous tasking for figuring my most favorite post of yours.

  9. Amazing! I had heard and read of this collection and you are so lucky to have seen them in person. Excellent choice for challenge.


  10. This is great AD – a great post! I was sorry we couldn’t fit a visit to see them into our Beijing trip. There was an exhibit with a few individual statues at the Olympic Park, but lines to get in were hours long! πŸ™‚
    Thanks to Gemma, too for the additional video.

  11. oh ad you have done it again, an amazing post, how perfect for lines! this is one thing i would like to see in person, so incredibly impressive πŸ™‚

  12. Absolutely perfect! I haven’t seen them for real but whenever I see pictures I find them fascinating. I can’t help wondering about the creating of them. A few maybe, but so many ?

  13. Fantastic! I hope to get to Xian one day to see the Terracotta Army in situ. I managed to see the travelling exhibition in Budapest this time last year, which only whetted my appetite for more.

  14. Spectacular!
    Found this on YouTube if anyone wants to watch. Interesting pose, AD. Thanks.

    Hope the link works.

  15. fantastic photos and submission to the theme. I’ve always thought to truly appreciate these warriors you would have to be in the same room as them. It’s almost impossible for me to comprehend the magnitude of them. Would so like to visit them one day. tell me, does everybody walk around them quietly in awe?

    • Thanks, Ruth, You can’t actually go walking around them, as you are separated by a wall. You actually look down at them, because they were buried in the ground. The structure they are in is like a huge warehouse.

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