Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor and His Legacy

In the Spring of 1974, several farmers from the Yang Village near Xi'an were digging a well when they stumbled across the most priceless archaeological discovery of modern times!

Excavations have un-earthed thousands of terracotta warriors, each with a unique facial expression and positioned according to their ranks.

They are a replica of the Qin army from more than 2,200 years ago and it was believed that each terracotta warriors were replicas of real Chinese soldiers.

The army of statues, numbering in the thousands, is testament of the forces the first Emperor of China had at his command. 

Qin Shi Huang (259 - 210BC) was the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty and he was the founder of China's first empire after unifying the Seven Warring States. If this name sounded all too familiar, that was because he is the one who ordered the building and restoration of the Great Wall of China!

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of his tomb which took 38 years to build and utilizing the labor of over 700,000 conscripts many of whom were killed to protect the privacy of the Emperor once it was done.

Image via Google

China, a vast land with nearly four thousand years of fascinating history makes one wonder what other archaeological remains of past civilisations have yet to be discovered? And what stories have been left untold?

I have not been to China yet so what better opportunity for me to visit the Terracotta Warriors when they are on exhibition right here in Singapore at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)?

ACM, where the exhibition is taking place

The broken warrior - 3D Puzzle Challenge

The broken warrior - 3D Puzzle Challenge


Earthenware - Musicians and dancer

Earthenware - Storyteller

Earthenware - Entertainers


Potteries and ceramics





Suit of Armour

Currencies used by the seven Warring States before the unification of China

Moulds for making coins

Accessories for the chariot

Accessory for the horse

Sword with gold handle (770 - 476 BCE)

A tiny seal seen with a magnifying glass

Jade cup

Sword and arrows

Arrowheads and bronze weapons

Incense burner

Bronze bell (770 - 476 BCE)


Bell of Duke Wu of Qin

Wrestler to entertain the Emperor in his afterlife

Coming up: The highlight of this exhibition!

The Terracotta Warriors!



The kneeling Archer

Outside the exhibition hall, there is this set of clay model showing us the various steps to making a terracotta horse and warrior, enabling us to have a better understanding how the making process is like.

Terracotta Horse

On the left: Conscripts probably stepping on clay, mixing it with water

Pouring the mixture into a mould for the horse body

Making individual parts of the horses' body before assembling them together

 Did you see someone being punished?

 Putting the whole horse together

Terracotta Soldier

Mixing the clay mixture

Making the lower limbs

The upper body

Putting the parts together

Adding the final touch

Send to kiln!

ACM has launched its very own app for iPhone users, in conjunction with the Terracotta Warriors exhibition - the first of it's kind for a musuem.

Visitors to the exhibition can follow the narration of Li Si, Prime Minister of the Qin Empire, to his son, right before their execution.

Walking through the exhibits, visitors will be able to interact with the terracotta warriors in a variety of ways.

This is a fairly sophisticated feat accomplished with AR (Augmented Reality).

Location markers for the iPhone app

It is a splendid program to engage visitors and help them to learn more about the exhibits except that only iPhone owners get to have all the fun leaving other smart phone users out in the cold...

1 Empress Place
(S) 179555
Tel: 6332 2982
Website: http://www.acm.org.sg

Opening Hours
Monday 1pm - 7pm
Tuesday - Sunday 9am -7pm (to 9pm on Fridays)

Admission Charges
Price Concession
Adult $8.00 $4.00
Friday evening (7-9pm) $4.00 $2.00
Full time students and senior citizens FREE -

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