A Trip to Uncover the Mystery of the Terracotta Worriors Part 2

By Matthew Bamberg / Jan 29, 2013
Each warrior statue differs.

 The Terra Cotta Warriors define the essence of fine craftsmanship. Each is a sole entity, an emperor’s guide to the afterlife who offers comfort and protection. 

Visitors enter a huge ultramodern indoor dome, which spreads over a pit the size of a football field. They encounter a sea of clay humanity, row after row of life-size warriors, each unique from top to bottom.  The realistic art  pieces stand tall–bodies of varying stoutness and attire. Realistic character-enhancing traits from the hair on the head to the pose that they assume create a sophisticated air of  order and discipline.

The image taken above shows how each warrior statue differs, antiquities that amaze and even stun the curious who come to see them.  A few have been picked up from Xian to travel around the United States in the exhibition China’s Terracotta Warriors–The First Emperor’s Legacy. As of this date, the traveling Warrior exhibition is in Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.

In 1974 archaeologists in China dug up over 7,000 warriors including horse-and-chariot sculptured objects, many of which visitors can view by taking an hour bus ride from Xian.

The complex housing the Warriors, massive and modern, requires that you spend a good part of the day strolling from pit to pit enclosed in what might appear to be a symphony hall, cold and formal. The walk from one pit to another is long, yet pleasant among grounds that resemble a college campus.

Photographs are permitted without flash. In order to photograph these stalwart sculpted men, I had to balance my camera in a number of precarious places, so I could get a steady show with the timer. Seeing and snapping images of these brave sculpted men is a must when traveling in China.

In the next article, Part 3 of A Trip to Uncover the Mystery of the Terracotta Warriors explores the history of the statues.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).