Terra Cotta Warriors

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Qin Terra Cotta Warriors
in China are special

The Qin Terra Cotta Warriors site near Xi'an city has nearly 8,000 life-sized pottery warriors and horses in battle attire and formation. They had been buried for over 2,200 years.

This terra cotta statuary is considered to be the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century.


Why they were created

The pottery warriors and horses (along with wooden chariots) were buried to protect the 3rd century BC Emperor Qin in his afterlife. He is historically important because he was the first ruler to unite China.



The site was discovered accidentally in 1974 when several local peasants were digging a well and came across some pottery relics. Archaeologists quickly determined their ancient origin and began excavating the site.

Underground chambers

So far, four have
been unearthed


Vault #1

This is the main and largest. It houses 6,000 life-sized terra cotta warriors (see photo). Originally, they were colorfully painted. The underground combat-ready soldiers are accompanied by sculpted horses, chariots and more.

Vault #2

Smaller with less statuary

Vault #3

Even smaller.

Vault #4

Found empty.

Location in China

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