Preliminary Ancient History: Assessment Task 2
Case Study 1: Entombed Warriors of Xian
Part B: Research Essay
KBU – 5/6/2012
Part B: Essay – What do the Entombed Warriors of Xian reveal about ancient Chinese culture?
The Entombed Warriors of Xian have exposed an extensive wealth of information for historians reconstructing the intricate nature of ancient Chinese culture. Through the exploration and analysis of archaeological sources and written accounts, those studying the past are able to deliver conclusions on the ethos and practices of ancient China under the influence of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Recovered artefacts from the site, along with primary written sources recorded during the Qin Empire have exposed considerable characteristics such military organisation, discipline, knowledge and intelligence, beliefs in the afterlife and affected human lifestyle to enable a reconstruction of, and reflect on ancient Chinese culture. *
The crossbow, an extremely powerful weapon used by high order members of the Qin army, provides historians with an indication of the power and discipline involved during the time of the Qin Empire. Over time in history, it has been recognised as one of the most effective and strongest weapons to be used during battle. According to the grand historian Sima Quian, “If the mechanism [crossbow] was out of line by no more than the size of a rice grain it wouldn’t work”. This quote, provided by a primary account, indicates there was a particular method involved to confirm the device would deliver 100 percent accuracy, also communicating the difficulty and accuracy required for such a powerful weapon to fulfill its role appropriately. The complications involved with handling it, due to its strength, ensure that the Emperor Qin would only assign the performing crossbowmen to handle this mechanism. In fact, it is believed each individual in the army was trained so not one in 100 shots came close to failing. The...