China's Terra-Cotta Army

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In March of 1974, while drilling a well, a work brigade of farmers discovered a subterranean chamber nearby the royal tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of China (Encyclopedia Britannica). The superstitious old women of the village believed that the digging would disturb the Earth God. Therefore, due to these spiritual beliefs, they did not report the discovery right away. Eventually, archeologists came to Xi’an in droves to study and extend the digs. This led to the uncovering of three vast pits to the east of the burial tomb. In these pits, chariots, weapons and over 7,000 terracotta soldiers and horses were unearthed (Roberts p. 25). After extensive research, historians and archeologists concluded these terracotta soldiers were buried there to protect Emperor Qin (pronounced Chin) and his underground kingdom in the afterlife. Ying Zheng was born in 260 BC. He was a member of the Qin Dynasty and ascended to the throne in 247 BC at the age of thirteen. The Qin rule became the most powerful during the Warring States Period, a hectic, brutal, and unsafe time in Chinese history where the seven states were at constant war with one another. After conquering the rival states, King Zheng, ruling over a now unified state he called China, renamed himself Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor (Man p.28). Under Emperor Qin’s rule, China, which is a derivative of his name, was ruled by strict law. He was a cruel ruler who readily killed or banished those who opposed him or his ideology. He is notorious for burning virtually all the books that remained from previous regimes and burnt over 460 alchemists because they failed to provide him a life prolonging elixir. After many attempts on his life were made, including one from his own mother, Emperor Qin ruled with a schizophrenic mind (China’ First Emperor). “It was perhaps his insatiable desire for security in an uncertain world that drove him on.” (Man p. 28) Emperor Qin undertook many projects in his...
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