Xi An and Terracotta Warriors

This week we went to Xi’An and Beijing, two of China’s Major cities. The main attraction in Xi’An was the Terracotta Warriors. Going to the museum to see them was one of the most surreal experiences I have had thus far on this trip. Before coming on the trip, I had only heard the name, and I kind of knew what the warriors were, but I did not know the full story until our tour guide filled us in. First, we learned the cause for the warriors. The Emperor Qin Shi Huang, considered by many to be the first Emperor of China, wanted to have his army with him when he passed on to the afterlife because he feared enemies he had defeated in his life on earth would try to attack him when he died. From this spawned the idea of the Warriors. But the idea was not always to have the sculpted soldiers that the world knows as the Terracotta. Initially, the emperor wanted to have his real life army buried with him! This no doubt meant that some would be buried alive! In an effort to save many lives, one of the emperors officials convinced him to use the sculpted warriors instead, and then began the manufacturing of one of the worlds most amazing sites. Upon seeing the sculptures, I could NOT believe how old they were. Even though many of them had to be put back together, it still amazed me that the material had not deteriorated over the years. Standing in the room, I imagined in my head the hours of work it must have taken to accomplish this feat. Even considering the large number of people that were involved in the project, its still remains impressive how many pieces of art they managed to produce. This experience was truly one that will stick with me as a highlight of my semester abroad.