5 – Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army
China’s famed Terracotta Army is composed of more than 8,000 life-size statues of warriors and warhorses depicting the armies of China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang. The legendary emperor was buried with this army sometime around the year 210 BC.
Qin Shi Huang wanted to continue to have troops under his command even after death, and by burying the statues with him he believed they would offer him protection for all eternity. The terracotta army was buried in battle formation, in three trenches, barely one and a half kilometers east of the emperor’s tomb.
Remarkably, each of these statues has unique facial features and characteristics, including different mustaches and hairstyles. Each soldier carried different weapons such as bows, spears, and swords. They even went so far to include soldiers of different ethnicities and age groups.
The impressive stone army, which was discovered in March 1974 near Shaanxi Province in the People’s Republic of China, has given archaeologists, from around the world, an unprecedented glimpse into the practices of an ancient and proud culture.
The very same can be said for the next discovery, the Tomb of the Athlete.