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Many cultures have sent their dead to the afterlife with the necessities of daily endeavor and the trappings of honor. Dishes, food, thrones, and barges have been excavated over the years. Pets, wives, concubines, and servants have gone to serve their masters in the next life as they served in this one. To the Chinese Emperors death was seen as an afterlife and the things that he takes with him shows how much he accomplished during his short life on earth. An emperors tomb included various things such as silks, musical instruments, servants, food and drink, all these things would have given anyone a well lived life.
An old Chinese saying says, "treat death as life. Accordingly to this famous quote, emperors set up their tombs for a well lived afterlife. In China, during the late 1920 s, a peasant uncovered a life-sized terracotta sculpture of a warrior, while digging a well. After the entire figure was uncovered, the water filling the well suddenly drained away.
This was thought as an evil sign and the statue was reburied. Then in 1974, peasants making a well for the Yanzhai Commune uncovered part of a pit of life-sized terracotta soldiers and horses. They had found a portion of the burial followers of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang. The first Emperor of China and founder of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shihuang (259 - 210 B.
C. ), was known as a conqueror, an enlightened leader, a merciless tyrant, a builder, and a destroyer. During his 29 years of rule, he united the country after five centuries of trouble and transformed the land into what we now call China. Qin Shihuang formed a government that lasted until 1911, he standardized currency, set up a code of law, and he standardized a script. He built a series of roads leading from his capital city of Xianyang, and combined protective walls built to prevent raiding nomads into 3, 000 kilometers of the Great Wall that now stretches for 6, 000 kilometers. Overall the emperor had a great and splendor life.
Qin was entombed in Listing County, Shaanxi Province about 35 kilometers east of the city of Xi " an. Wanting to be protected in his afterlife, Qin ordered an entire army to protect his mausoleum, which lies still uncovered at Mount Li. Even though emperors were supposed to put the servants to death so that they will serve him in his afterlife human sacrifice was less common by the time of Qin's death. Instead of sacrificing an entire army, Qin had clay soldiers to protect him in his afterlife. A remarkable observation was the accuracy of the height of Qin's soldiers during this period...
Qin's sculptors gave his soldiers a position so that it seemed as if they were moving. The postures of the figures, alertness of the expressions, and arrangement of the army made this quality of motion in stillness. The only way to observe and feel the sensation of this interesting artwork is by going there and looking for ones self. Using a combination of molds and hand sculpting made the figures. The heads, for, were each cast from one of many of a dozen different molds, then hand sculpting of the eyes and noses, the addition of a variety of mustaches, eyebrows, ears, hair, and finally the headgear. Fifteen different expressions have been discovered, including dreamy, fiery honest and sincere.
There were mysterious smiles on the clay faces that show a new way of thinking about the afterlife. The dark underworld had become a place of eternal happiness. The faces of Qin's army have been described as many as 30 types but each was expressive, alert, intelligent, and sincere, showing the personalities of ideal warriors. Qin's army had the clothes sculpted on, then painted.
Jing Di's warriors show the beauty of the nude figure beneath. After the clay molds have been shaped, they were molded and then clothes and weapons were added. Over the centuries the figures were damaged as wooden ceilings and pillars collapsed. Wooden arms and silk uniforms have rotted away over the centuries. After being fully heated and the armor was added, they actually placed many weapons such as bronze double-edged swords with wooden scabbards, crossbows 9, bows, halberds, spears, and pikes. They had the most complete accessories to fight a fashionable battle.
Qin's mounted unit had square two-wheeled chariots with bronze fittings harnessed by V-shaped yokes to four horses. The sculptures were made perfect according to the real life battle situations, there were fine saddles that served the cavalry. The lack of stirrups showed the skilled horsemanship of Qin's army. Jing Di's soldiers had slightly different carriages, each pulled by three wooden horses but military weaponry was the same. These emperors left behind, their terracotta armies survive as incredible works of art. Complex details in armor, facial features, and positioning give us a variety of historic info.
and an insight into a small segment of life in the early years of the Chinese empire. Bibliography:
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