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Excavated Terra-cotta Warriors of the Pit.

Excavated Terra-cotta Warriors of the Pit.


Stepping into the museum covering an area of 14,000 square meters, we come to Pit NO. 1 which contains 6,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses. The impressive sight of the figurines lined in neat formation grips the spectators with grandeur and magnificence and capture their admiration. People often ask: Why did Qin Shi Huang, the emperor who founded the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C., use so many large terracotta figurines as funerary objects?

During the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th to 3rd centuries B.C.), slaves were buried alive with the slave-owners and aristocrats when they died. The number of such slaves immolated depended on the status of the deceased. More than 60 slaves were sacrificed when Duke Wu, the ruler of the State of Qin, died in 678 B.C. Later, 177 slaves were immolated when Duke Mu of the State of Qin died in 621 B.C. This practice aroused indignation among the people of Qin. Duke Xian banned this practice when he ascended the throne of the State of Qin in 384 B.C. While still regarding slaves as chattels, the slave-owners had to replace burying slaves alive with using figurines as funerary objects.

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