Terra Cotta Soldiers of the Qin Dynasty

Topics: Terracotta Army, Qin Shi Huang / Pages: 11 (2686 words) / Published: Apr 26th, 2006
The Qin dynasty (also written as Ch 'in) was brief, 221 B.C. - 206 B.C, but much was accomplished during this 15-year period. It was the first dynasty whose emperor ruled over a unified China, following his defeat of seven warring states. One currency and a single system of weights and measures for the entire empire were created and a standardized Chinese written language was established. Construction of a national highway system and the Great Wall of China were begun. The name, China, even originated from the word Ch 'in.

Despite all these advances, this was a very repressive and strict period of ruling. Emperor Ch 'in Shi Huang, derived from Shi Huangdi meaning "first emperor," was a much-feared tyrant, who ruled with an iron fist. Ch 'in Shi Huang began building his own tomb at the age of thirteen, immediately after ascending to the throne following his father 's death.. This was contradictory to Confucian beliefs at the time that "a son should demonstrate respect for his father by building as impressive a memorial as possible and that a man should never plan his own funeral rites."

Ch 'in Shi Huang ordered the burning of history and philosophy books, as well as the deaths of 460 Confucian scholars who had continued teaching religious principles drawn from the past. He enslaved the people and imposed enormous taxes to pay for his tomb and the Great Wall, which led to rebellion towards the end of his rule. His tomb took 11 years and 700,000 workers, but it never fully reached completion. The tomb supposedly had pearls embedded in the ceiling to represent the stars, and rivers and lakes simulated with liquid mercury. The burial chamber has not yet been opened and since the site has not been fully excavated, it remains possible that this will be the most elaborate and most unique tomb ever seen. Some consider it to be the eighth wonder of the world.

In the three main pits that surround the tomb, there have been discovered thousands of terracotta soldiers

Bibliography: "Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses." Travel China Guide. 1998-2005. 2 October 2005 . Nanlan, Wu. " Terracotta Warriors -- New Theories on Ancient Artifacts." China Through A Lens. October 12, 2002. " The Terra Cotta Warriors." About Inc. 2005. Patent, Dorothy H. The Incredible Story of China 's Buried Warriors. New York: Benchmark Books, 2000. O 'Connor, Jane. The Emperor 's Silent Army. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2002.

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