Terracotta Warriors

In 246BC, work commenced on the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, soon after he ascended the throne at age 13. Construction on the vast site, 30km to the east of Xian, later involved 700,000 workers. In 1974 some local farmers, whilst digging a well, discovered the "Terracotta Army" of the mausoleum. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses.

To construct the warriors, each of which has individual facial features, hollow heads, arms and legs, made of coiled terracotta, were joined together with strips of clay and set upon the solid legs. After this rough model was assembled, a fine clay slip was added, and features such as eyes, mouth, nose and details of dress were carved into the clay while it was still pliable. Additional pieces such as ears, beard and armour were modeled separately and attached, after which the whole figure was fired at a high temperature.

It is estimated that there are some 8,000 terracotta soldiers and they are all life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The figures were also originally painted with bright pigments, traces of which remain, and most originally held real weapons such as spears, swords or crossbows.

This movie records a visit to the site in July 2012. I made the 1080/60p movie from stills taken with my Panasonic SD800 camcorder and edited with iMovie at 60fps on an iMac as described on my webpage at ianperegian.com.

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