Terracotta Warriors

Discovered in 1974 by 5 local farmers near the Mausoleum of First Qin Emperor, Terracotta Warriors are one of the greatest discoveries in worldwide archaeological field. With thousands of mysterious terracotta figures, horses, and chariots, the Terracotta Warriors is known as the world eighth largest miracle, which displayed the ancient Emperor Qin's glories.

2 Background

Qin Shihuang is the first emperor of China, who unified the whole country and standardized legal codes, written language, track, currencies, weights and measures. He also ordered to build the Great Wall. All the things he had done made a great and deep influence upon China's 2,000 year old feudal society.

The previous warriors buried with the late king were live soldiers; while Emperor Qin used Terracotta replacing the real soldiers, thus his army could be retained and left to the next generation.

The reason why terracotta warriors were made to be buried with the Emperor Qin, according to some research, are attributed as followings: first, show his glory; second, honor the army that triumphed over the other warring states to unite China; third, Emperor Qin believed that objects like statues can be animated in the afterlife. Although there is no afterlife at all, the Terracotta army is left to show the glory and military success of Emperor Qin era.


The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, are all well arranged in battle formations in three pits. The terracotta warriors are unique with its life size and different individual figures, varying from one another in height (183 - 195 cm), uniform, and hairstyle according to their rank, the tallest being the generals.

a. Pit 1

No. 1 pit covered an area of 14,260 square meters, with 230 meters long, 62 meters wide, and 5 meters deep. In the east end are arrayed three lines of Terracotta Warriors, 70 pieces in each, totaling 210 pieces. Behind them are 38 columns of infantrymen alternating with chariots in the corridors, each being 180m long. The flanks and rear warriors were probably facing outward, the line of them in the left, right and west ends respectively. There are altogether 27 trial trenches, and more than 6,000 warriors and horse were found here.

b. Pit 2

No 2 pit is about half size of No 1 pit, covering about 6,000 square meter. Over 1,000 warriors, 500 chariots and horses were found in No 2 pit. The copper parts of the chariots still remain, their shafts, cross yokes and wheels leaving clear traces on the earth bed. Usually one chariot was pulled by four horses with one and half meters in height and two meters in length.

c. Pit 3

No. 3 pit being a little bit smaller, it used to be the place for the general to make command during the battle, which covered an area of 520 square meters with four horses, one chariot, and 68 warriors.

The objects excavated out from three pits are believed to be only a tiny part, and most of them still buried in the pits. According to the detector, there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses in three pits. Many archaeologists believe that there are many pits still waiting to be discovered.


Useful Information

a. Location
Linlan Road, Lintong District, Xian, Shaanxi, China

b. Admission Fee:
High Season (Mar.-Nov.): CNY150 Low Season (Dec.-Feb.): CNY120

c. Opening hours
High Season (Mar. 16th-Nov. 14th): 8:30-17:30
Low Season (Nov. 15th-Mar. 15th): 8:30-17:00

d. Traffic
Take sightseeing bus No.5 or city bus No.306, 914 to Terracotta Warrior Museum at Xian Railway Station.

e. Good to know
It is recommended to visit 1 to 2 hours;
One is advised to hire a guide to learn clearly about the gorgeous history of the attraction (approximately CNY100);
Sightseeing electric car (CNY5) is available in the tourism area.

f. Recommended Tours 
The must-see attraction Terracotta Warriors is included in all Xian Tours; select one you like most or send us an e-mail to tailor make your own tour.